Advanced Free-Space Optical Communication for Reliable Connectivity

A reliable free-space optical communication (FSOC) system should be capable of error-free data transfer between two terminals irrespective of the channel conditions. Such an FSOC system will offer resilience against the channel’s photon absorption and scattering. In addition, a reliable FSOC system will have robust capability to point and track the narrow optical beam. This is requirement is crucial, particularly for non-stationary platforms. Another channel condition to mitigate is the effect of atmospheric turbulence on FSOC systems. The effect of atmospheric turbulence is known to induce large-scale fluctuations of the received optical signal intensity. Aperture averaging/spatial diversity can help in this regard but compactness, mobility and size requirements of the FSOC transceiver units will ultimately place practical limits on attainable gains.

This project will research advanced physical layer techniques to achieve a reliable FSOC system.  Specific objectives are:

1. A system level modelling that accounts for the above channel effects and front-end devices.

2. Advanced modulation, signalling and waveform design for resilient FSOC.

3. Test bed development

The ideal candidate for this project would have a first degree in physics, electronic and electrical engineering or a related discipline. A passion for experimental work and capability to develop/apply mathematical modelling techniques will be particularly important for this project.


Further Information: 

The position will be closed as soon as the suitable candidate is found. 

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in Physics, Electronic and Electrical Engineering or related discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Part scholarship in the form of tuition waiver is available. Applications are also welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere. 
Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: