Vortex instability in turbulent free-space propagation

Lavery, M. P.J. (2018) Vortex instability in turbulent free-space propagation. New Journal of Physics, 20, 043023. (doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/aaae9e)

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The spatial structuring of optical fields is integral within many next generation optical metrology and communication techniques. A verifiable physical model of the propagation of these optical fields in a turbulent environment is important for developing effective mitigation techniques for the modal degradation that occurs in a free-space link. We present a method to simulate this modal degradation that agrees with recently reported experimental findings. A 1.5 km free-space link is emulated by decomposing the optical turbulence that accumulates over a long distance link, into many, weakly perturbing steps of 10 m. This simulation shows that the high-order vortex at the centre of the helical phase profiles in modes that carry orbital angular momentum of $| {\ell }| \geqslant 2{\hslash }$ are unstable and fracture into many vortices when they propagate over the link. This splitting presents issues for the application of turbulence mitigation techniques. The usefulness of pre-correction, post-correction, and complex field conjugation techniques are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lavery, Professor Martin
Authors: Lavery, M. P.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:New Journal of Physics
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1367-2630
Published Online:13 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in New Journal of Physics 20:043023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
712491High Dimensional Free-space Building-to-Building Link for Last-Mile CommunicationsMartin LaveryEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N032853/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG