Abstract

We utilize aperture diversity combined with multiple-mode receivers and multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) digital signal processing (DSP) to demonstrate enhanced tolerance to atmospheric turbulence and spatial misalignment in a 10 Gbit/s quadrature-phase-shift-keyed (QPSK) free-space optical (FSO) link. Turbulence and misalignment could cause power coupling from the fundamental Gaussian mode into higher-order modes. Therefore, we detect power from multiple modes and use MIMO DSP to enhance the recovery of the original data. In our approach, (a) each of multiple transmitter apertures transmits a single fundamental Gaussian beam carrying the same data stream, (b) each of multiple receiver apertures detects the signals that are coupled from the fundamental Gaussian beams to multiple orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes, and (c) MIMO DSP is used to recover the data over multiple modes and receivers. Our simulation shows that the outage probability could be reduced from ${\gt}{0.1}$ to ${\lt}{0.01}$. Moreover, we experimentally demonstrate the scheme by transmitting two fundamental Gaussian beams carrying the same data stream and recovering the signals on OAM modes 0 and ${+}{1}$ at each receiver aperture. We measure an up to ${\sim}{10}\;{\rm dB}$ power-penalty reduction for a bit error rate (BER) at the 7% forward error correction limit for a 10 Gbit/s QPSK signal.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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