High-speed free-space optical communication systems have recently used fiber-optic components. The received laser beam in such a system must be coupled into a single-mode fiber at the input of the receiver module. However, propagation through atmospheric turbulence degrades the spatial coherence of a laser beam and limits the fiber-coupling efficiency. We numerically evaluate the fiber-coupling efficiency for laser light distorted by atmospheric turbulence. We also investigate the use of a coherent fiber array as a receiver structure and find that a coherent fiber array that consists of seven subapertures would significantly increase the fiber-coupling efficiency.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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