Date of Award

Fall 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics - (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

John Francis Federici

Second Advisor

Karl D. Moeller

Third Advisor

Tao Zhou

Fourth Advisor

Andrei Sirenko

Fifth Advisor

Zhen Wu


This dissertation focusses on terahertz (THz) wireless communication technology in different weather conditions. The performance of the communication links is mainly studied under propagation through atmospheric turbulence and rain. However, as real outdoor weather conditions are temporally and spatially varying, it is difficult to obtain reproducible atmospheric conditions to verify results of independent measurements making it a challenge to measure and analyze the impact of outdoor atmospheric weather on communication links. Consequently, dedicated indoor weather chambers are designed to produce controllable weather conditions to emulate the real outdoor weather as closely as possible. To emulate turbulent air conditions, an enclosed chamber is developed into which air with controllable airspeeds and temperatures are introduced to generate a variety of atmospheric turbulence for beam propagation. To emulate varying rain conditions, an enclosed chamber is built in which pressurized air forces drops of water through an array of 30 gauge needles.

In order to study and compare propagation features of THz links with infrared (IR) links under identical weather conditions, a THz and IR communications lab setup with a maximum data rate of 2.5 Gb/s at 625 GHz carrier frequency and 1.5 μm wavelength, are developed. A usual non return-to-zero (NRZ) format is applied to modulate the IR channel but a duobinary coding technique is used for driving the multiplier chain-based 625 GHz source, which enables signaling at high data rate and higher output power. The power and bit-error rate (BER) on the receiver side are measured, which can be used to analyze the signal performance. To analyze the phase change in the turbulence chamber due to the refractive index change induced by turbulence, a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer with He-Ne laser at 632.8nm is developed.

In the same weather conditions, the impact on THz in comparison with IR link is not equivalent due to the spectral dependence on atmospheric turbulence and rain. In the experiment, after THz (625 GHz) and IR (1.5 μm) beams propagate through the same condition, performance of both channels is analyzed and compared. Kolmogrov theory is employed to simulate the atmospheric turbulence which leads to attenuation of THz and IR signals. Mie scattering theory is employed to simulate the attenuation of THz and IR beams due to rain.

Under identical turbulence conditions, THz links are superior to IR links. However, the performance of THz and IR links are comparable under identical rain conditions.

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