Data Combining Schemes for a Detector Array Receiver in Free-Space Optical Communications
This paper analyzes and compares combining schemes used to fuse the outputs from the elements of detector arrays used in deep space optical communications. The equal gain combiner (EGC), selection combiner (SC) and maximal ration combiner (MRC) are compared in terms of error rate performance and computational complexity. Optimizing the arrays in terms of spot size and array size to achieve the best error rate performance is also discussed. The paper concludes that when the signal to noise ratio (SNR) is low, the MRC outperformed EGC and SC in terms of error rate. The EGC yielded the least performance gain.