The spatial coherence radius in moderate-to-strong maritime turbulence is derived on the basis of the modified Rytov approximation. Models are developed to simulate the spiral spectrum of Airy beams propagating through moderate-to-strong maritime turbulence. In the moderate-to-strong irradiance fluctuation region, we analyze the effects of maritime turbulence on the spread of the spiral spectrum of Airy beams in a horizontal propagation path. Results indicate that the increment in the inner-scale significantly increases the received power. By contrast, the outer-scale elicits a negligible effect on the received power if the ratio of the inner-scale to the outer-scale is less than 0.01. The outer-scale affects the received power only if the ratio is greater than 0.01. The performance of a light source is essential for the received power of Airy beams carrying orbital angular momentum (OAM) through moderate-to-strong maritime turbulence. Airy beams with longer wavelengths, smaller OAM numbers, larger radii of the main ring, and smaller diameters of the circular aperture are less affected by maritime turbulence. Autofocusing of Airy beams is beneficial for the propagation of the spiral spectrum in a certain propagation distance. These results contribute to the design of optical communication systems with OAM encoding for moderate-to-strong maritime turbulence.
© 2016 Optical Society of America
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