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Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 12;7(1):17427. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17580-y.

High-Capacity Free-Space Optical Communications Between a Ground Transmitter and a Ground Receiver via a UAV Using Multiplexing of Multiple Orbital-Angular-Momentum Beams.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical Engineering, U. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA. longl@usc.edu.
2
Department of Electrical Engineering, U. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA.
3
CAILabs Labs, Rennes, 35200, France.
4
Space & Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific, San Diego, CA, 92152, USA.
5
R-DEX Systems, Marietta, GA, 30068, USA.
6
School of Electrical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, 69978, Israel.
7
Department of Electrical Engineering, U. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, 90089, USA. willner@usc.edu.

Abstract

We explore the use of orbital-angular-momentum (OAM)-multiplexing to increase the capacity of free-space data transmission to moving platforms, with an added potential benefit of decreasing the probability of data intercept. Specifically, we experimentally demonstrate and characterize the performance of an OAM-multiplexed, free-space optical (FSO) communications link between a ground transmitter and a ground receiver via a moving unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV). We achieve a total capacity of 80 Gbit/s up to 100-m-roundtrip link by multiplexing 2 OAM beams, each carrying a 40-Gbit/s quadrature-phase-shift-keying (QPSK) signal. Moreover, we investigate for static, hovering, and moving conditions the effects of channel impairments, including: misalignments, propeller-induced airflows, power loss, intermodal crosstalk, and system bit error rate (BER). We find the following: (a) when the UAV hovers in the air, the power on the desired mode fluctuates by 2.1 dB, while the crosstalk to the other mode is -19 dB below the power on the desired mode; and (b) when the UAV moves in the air, the power fluctuation on the desired mode increases to 4.3 dB and the crosstalk to the other mode increases to -10 dB. Furthermore, the channel crosstalk decreases with an increase in OAM mode spacing.

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