Abstract

Feature Issue on Optical Wireless Communications (OWC)

The ultimate classical information capacity of multiple-spatial-mode, wideband optical communications in vacuum between soft-aperture transmit and receive pupils is considered. The ultimate capacity is shown to be achieved by coherent-state encoding and joint measurements over entire code words. This capacity is compared with the capacities realized with the same encoding and homodyne or heterodyne detection, which are single-channel-use measurements. Realistic background spectral-radiance values are used to obtain tight bounds on the capacity of single-spatial-mode, narrowband 1.55 μm wavelength free-space communications in the presence of background light.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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