Reducing the Impact of Handovers in Ground-to-Train Free Space Optical Communications

Qiang Fan, Mina Taheri, Nirwan Ansari, Jianghua Feng, Roberto Rojas-Cessa, Mengchu Zhou, Tairan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The growing deployment and advanced development of high-speed train (HST) systems, coupled with the reliance on and demand for constant Internet connectivity anytime anywhere, have necessitated the imminent provisioning of broadband Internet services in HSTs. Ground-to-train free space optical (FSO) communications suffer from frequent handovers due to high mobility of HSTs, thus shortening the connection time between the train and ground, and greatly impacting passengers' user experience. To provision high-speed Internet services in HSTs, we propose the rotating transceiver scheme to mitigate the impact of handover processes with steerable FSO transceivers in a ground-to-train communications system. Owing to the rotating feature of the scheme, the on-roof transceiver of a train can maintain a reliable link with a base station (BS) for a longer time, and remarkably reduce the number of handover processes, thus provisioning higher data rates of the system. Meanwhile, since the separation distances between BSs are extended, the total number of BSs required to be deployed along the track is also reduced, thus reducing the deployment cost for service providers. Moreover, a new handover method is designed to mitigate the impact of each handover delay, especially on live streaming applications. Finally, the performance improvement of the proposed scheme over the existing fixed transceiver one is demonstrated via simulation results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1292-1301
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering


  • Free space optical (FSO)
  • ground-to-train communications
  • handover
  • high-speed train


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