Abstract

Spatial diversity is widely recognized as an effective technique for free-space optical (FSO) communication to combat channel fading. Most existing works on spatial diversity in FSO systems focus on intensity modulation and direct detection, while fewer mention coherent optical detection, which excels in optical receiver responsivity. Spatial diversity enables the FSO coherent system to demodulate the signal components of in-phase (${I}$) and quadrature (${Q}$) separately and thus simplify the coherent detector. More importantly, due to the differential channel conditions between ${I}$ and ${Q}$ components, we are offered a chance to realize an asymmetric quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) constellation that can utilize the channel capacity of both ${I}$ and ${Q}$ components more sufficiently. Performance results demonstrate that the simplified structure and improved spectrum efficiency can be realized in the asymmetric QAM transmission system with an acceptable bit-error-rate loss.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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