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Performance limits and simplified analysis of photon-counted noisy free-space optical links
Author(s): Don M. Boroson
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Paper Abstract

Pulsed optical modulations with photon-counting receivers have been shown to be capable of very high photon efficiencies. With channel capacity as the relevant metric, we review the mathematical models of free-space receivers with photon-counting detectors in varying amounts of background noise. Although historically, such direct detection receivers have been designed to cover relatively wide fields of view because of turbulence, modern systems may be able to achieve performance with many fewer spatial modes, as well as near-matched filtering. We investigate the channel capacity in those cases and show the relative benefits of reducing both spatial and temporal modes of noise. In addition, because the exact capacity formulas are calculation-intensive and not intuitively helpful, we propose a particularly simple yet accurate mathematical approximation that greatly simplifies the analysis when the Poisson model is relevant, and is useful in link budgeting exercises.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2018
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 10524, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX, 105240J (15 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2291578
Show Author Affiliations
Don M. Boroson, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10524:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXX
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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