Influence of atmospheric turbulence on optical communications using orbital angular momentum for encoding

Mehul Malik, Malcolm O'Sullivan, Brandon Rodenburg, Mohammad Mirhosseini, Jonathan Leach, Martin P. J. Lavery, Miles J. Padgett, Robert W. Boyd

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Abstract

We describe an experimental implementation of a free-space 11-dimensional communication system using orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes. This system has a maximum measured OAM channel capacity of 2.12 bits/photon. The effects of Kolmogorov thin-phase turbulence on the OAM channel capacity are quantified. We find that increasing the turbulence leads to a degradation of the channel capacity. We are able to mitigate the effects of turbulence by increasing the spacing between detected OAM modes. This study has implications for high-dimensional quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. We describe the sort of QKD system that could be built using our current technology. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13195-13200
Number of pages6
JournalOptics Express
Volume20
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2012

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