Optimal Control Strategies for the Alignment Problem of Optical Communication Systems

  • Wenqi Cai

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In this work, we propose three control strategies from different perspectives to solve the alignment problem for different optical wireless communication (OWC) systems. • Experimental modeling based strategy: we model and analyze the vibration effects on the stationary OWC system (e.g. urban free-space optical (FSO) communication system in our case). The proposed Bifurcated-Gaussian (B-G) distribution model of the receiver optical power is derived under different vibra- tion levels and link distances using the nonlinear iteration method. Besides, the UFSO channel under the effects of both vibration and atmospheric turbulence is also explored under three atmospheric turbulence conditions. Our proposed B-G distribution model helps to easily evaluate the link performance of UFSO systems and paves the way for constructing completed auxiliary control subsys- tems for robust UFSO links. • Extremum seeking control based strategy: we propose an extremum seeking control (ESC) based strategy for the mobile OWC system. Our proposed ap- proach consists of coarse alignment and fine alignment. The coarse alignment using feedback proportional-derivative (PD) control is responsible for tracking and following the receiver. For fine alignment, the perturbation-based extremum seeking control (ESC) is adopted for a continuous search for the optimal posi- tion, where the received optical power is maximum in the presence of distur- bance. The proposed approach is simple, effective, and easy to implement. • Time scale theory based strategy: we design a time scale based Kalman filter for the intermittent OWC system. First, the algorithm of Kalman filter on time scales is presented, followed by several numerical examples for interpretation and analysis. The design of Kalman filter on time scales for our simulated vibrating OWC system is then discussed, whose results are analyzed thoroughly and further validated by a reference system. The proposed strategy has great potential for solving the problem of observer design in the case of intermittent received signals (non-uniform measurements) and paves the way for further controller design. The three proposed control strategies directly or indirectly solve the beam align- ment problem for optical communication systems, supporting the development of robust optical communication link.
Date of AwardApr 2020
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
SupervisorMeriem Laleg (Supervisor)


  • Extremum seeking control
  • Optical wireless communication
  • Alignment
  • Time Scale Theory
  • kalman Filter
  • probability density function

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