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The Dolinar receiver in an information theoretic framework
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Paper Abstract

Optical communication at the quantum limit requires that measurements on the optical field be maximally informative, but devising physical measurements that accomplish this objective has proven challenging. The Dolinar receiver exemplifies a rare instance of success in distinguishing between two coherent states: an adaptive local oscillator is mixed with the signal prior to photodetection, which yields an error probability that meets the Helstrom lower bound with equality. Here we apply the same local-oscillator-based architecture with an information-theoretic optimization criterion. We begin with analysis of this receiver in a general framework for an arbitrary coherent-state modulation alphabet, and then we concentrate on two relevant examples. First, we study a binary antipodal alphabet and show that the Dolinar receiver's feedback function not only minimizes the probability of error, but also maximizes the mutual information. Next, we study ternary modulation consisting of antipodal coherent states and the vacuum state. We derive an analytic expression for a near-optimal local-oscillator feedback function, and, via simulation, we determine its photon information efficiency (PIE). We provide the PIE versus dimensional information efficiency (DIE) trade-off curve and show that this modulation and the our receiver combination performs universally better than (generalized) on-off keying plus photon counting, although, the advantage asymptotically vanishes as the bits-per-photon diverges towards infinity.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 September 2011
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8163, Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging IX, 81630U (6 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893158
Show Author Affiliations
Baris I. Erkmen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kevin M. Birnbaum, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Bruce E. Moision, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Samuel J. Dolinar, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8163:
Quantum Communications and Quantum Imaging IX
Ronald E. Meyers; Yanhua Shih; Keith S. Deacon, Editor(s)

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