Outage analysis of the hybrid free-space optical and radio-frequency channel
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We study the hybrid free-space optical (FSO) and radio-frequency (RF) channel from an information theoretic perspective. Since both links operate at vastly different carrier frequencies, we model the hybrid channel as a pair of parallel channels. Moreover, since the FSO channel signals at a higher rate than the RF channel, we incorporate this key feature in the parallel channel model. Both channels experience fading due to scintillation, which is slow compared to typical signalling rates. Under this framework, we study the fundamental limits of the hybrid channel. In particular, we analyse the outage probability in the large signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) regime, and obtain the outage diversity or SNR exponent of the hybrid system. First we consider the case when only the receiver has perfect channel state information (CSIR case), and obtain the exponents for general scintillation distributions. These exponents relate key system design parameters to the asymptotic outage performance and illustrate the benefits of using hybrid systems with respect to independent FSO or RF links. We next consider the case when perfect CSI is known at both the receiver and transmitter, and derive the optimal power allocation strategy that minimises the outage probability subject to peak and average power constraints. The optimal solution involves non-convex optimisation, which is intractable in practical systems. We therefore propose a suboptimal algorithm that achieves significant power savings (on the order of tens of dBs) over uniform power allocation. We show that the suboptimal algorithm has the same diversity as the optimal power allocation strategy.