Abstract

Based on the extended Huygens–Fresnel principle, the element expression of a cross-spectral matrix of Gaussian–Schell-model (GSM) laser beams propagating in a space-to-ground optical communication downlink is derived analytically. With full consideration of both the source parameters and the zenith angle, the changes in the degree of polarization (DOP) and the state of polarization (SOP) are investigated. The simulation results indicate that the source parameters play a crucial role in determining both DOP and SOP in space-to-ground optical communication downlinks. Compared to the source parameters, the zenith angle has no obvious influence on the polarization properties when it is smaller than 88°. The results of this work provide a design basis for a polarization shift keying optical communication system with a GSM laser beam.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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