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Proceedings Paper

On approaching the ultimate limits of communication using a photon-counting detector
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Paper Abstract

Coherent states achieve the Holevo capacity of a pure-loss channel when paired with an optimal measurement, but a physical realization of this measurement scheme is as of yet unknown, and it is also likely to be of high complexity. In this paper, we focus on the photon-counting measurement and study the photon and dimensional efficiencies attainable with modulations over classical- and nonclassical-state alphabets. We analyze two binary-modulation architectures that improve upon the dimensional versus photon efficiency tradeoff achievable with the state-of-the-art coherent-state on-off keying modulation. We show that at high photon efficiency these architectures achieve an efficiency tradeoff that differs from the best possible tradeoff--determined by the Holevo capacity--by only a constant factor. The first architecture we analyze is a coherent-state transmitter that relies on feedback from the receiver to control the transmitted energy. The second architecture uses a single-photon number-state source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2012
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8246, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXIV, 824605 (10 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.908695
Show Author Affiliations
Baris I. Erkmen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Bruce E. Moision, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Samuel J. Dolinar, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kevin M. Birnbaum, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dariush Divsalar, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8246:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXIV
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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