Influence of atmospheric turbulence on optical communications using orbital angular momentum for encoding

Author(s): Mehul Malik, Malcolm O’Sullivan, Brandon Rodenburg, Mohammad Mirhosseini, Jonathan Leach, Martin P. J. Lavery, Miles J. Padgett, and Robert W. Boyd Abstract: “We describe an experimental implementation of a free-space 11-dimensional communication system using orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes. This system has a maximum measured OAM channel capacity of 2.12 bits/photon. The effects of Kolmogorov thin-phase turbulence on the OAM channel capacity are quantified. We find that increasing the turbulence leads to a degradation of the channel capacity. We are able to mitigate the effects of turbulence by increasing the spacing between detected OAM modes. This study has implications…