Abstract

A multichannel free-space optical (FSO) communication system based on orbital angular momentum (OAM)-carrying beams is studied. We numerically analyze the effects of atmospheric turbulence on the system and find that turbulence induces attenuation and crosstalk among channels. Based on a model in which the constituent channels are binary symmetric and crosstalk is a Gaussian noise source, we find optimal sets of OAM states at each turbulence condition studied and determine the aggregate capacity of the multichannel system at those conditions. OAM-multiplexed FSO systems that operate in the weak turbulence regime are found to offer good performance. We verify that the aggregate capacity decreases as the turbulence increases. A per-channel bit-error rate evaluation is presented to show the uneven effects of crosstalk on the constituent channels.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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