Abstract

We introduce recently developed space division multiplexing (SDM)-associated technologies into optical wireless communications (OWC) and propose to use incoherent and low-coherence spatial modes to realize optical broadcasting with reliable performance by mitigating coherent interference. We experimentally demonstrate reconfigurable optical beam steering using a programmable multi-plane light conversion (MPLC)-based mode multiplexer (MMUX) and realize point-to-multi-point optical wireless communications with low-loss up-link optical beam combining and reach extension using multimode fiber (MMF). Both incoherent and low-coherence spatial modes can be generated employing cost-efficient components such as a multimode vertical cavity surface emitting laser (MM-VCSEL) and broadband amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise source.

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