Using the random phase screen approach, we carry out a simulation analysis of the probability of error performance of Gaussian, annular Gaussian, cos Gaussian, and cosh Gaussian beams. In our scenario, these beams are intensity-modulated by the randomly generated binary symbols of an electrical message signal and then launched from the transmitter plane in equal powers. They propagate through a turbulent atmosphere modeled by a series of random phase screens. Upon arriving at the receiver plane, detection is performed in a circuitry consisting of a pin photodiode and a matched filter. The symbols detected are compared with the transmitted ones, errors are counted, and from there the probability of error is evaluated numerically. Within the range of source and propagation parameters tested, the lowest probability of error is obtained for the annular Gaussian beam. Our investigation reveals that there is hardly any difference between the aperture-averaged scintillations of the beams used, and the distinctive advantage of the annular Gaussian beam lies in the fact that the receiver aperture captures the maximum amount of power when this particular beam is launched from the transmitter plane.
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