Abstract

Free-space optical (FSO) communication provides rapidly deployable, dynamic communication links that are capable of very high data rates compared with those of radio-frequency systems. As such, FSO communication is ideal for mobile platforms, for platforms that require the additional security afforded by the narrow divergence of a laser beam, and for systems that must be deployed in a relatively short time frame. In clear-weather conditions the data rate and utility of FSO communication links are primarily limited by fading caused by microscale atmospheric temperature variations that create parts-per-million refractive-index fluctuations known as atmospheric turbulence. Typical communication techniques to overcome turbulence-induced fading, such as interleavers with sophisticated codes, lose viability as the data rate is driven higher or the delay tolerance is driven lower. This paper, along with its companion [J. Opt. Commun. Netw. 4, 947 (2012)], present communication systems and techniques that exploit atmospheric reciprocity to overcome turbulence that are viable for high data rate and low delay tolerance systems. Part I proves that reciprocity is exhibited under rather general conditions and derives the optimal power-transfer phase compensation for far-field operation. Part II presents capacity-achieving architectures that exploit reciprocity to overcome the complexity and delay issues that limit state-of-the-art FSO communications.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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