Free-space propagation of high dimensional structured optical fields in an urban environment

Lavery, M. P.J. , Peuntinger, C., Günthner, K., Banzer, P., Elser, D., Boyd, R. W., Padgett, M. J. , Marquardt, C. and Leuchs, G. (2017) Free-space propagation of high dimensional structured optical fields in an urban environment. Science Advances, 3(10), e1700552. (doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700552)

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Spatially structured optical fields have been used to enhance the functionality of a wide variety of systems that use light for sensing or information transfer. As higher-dimensional modes become a solution of choice in optical systems, it is important to develop channel models that suitably predict the effect of atmospheric turbulence on these modes. We investigate the propagation of a set of orthogonal spatial modes across a free-space channel between two buildings separated by 1.6 km. Given the circular geometry of a common optical lens, the orthogonal mode set we choose to implement is that described by the Laguerre-Gaussian (LG) field equations. Our study focuses on the preservation of phase purity, which is vital for spatial multiplexing and any system requiring full quantumstate tomography. We present experimental data for the modal degradation in a real urban environment and draw a comparison to recognized theoretical predictions of the link. Our findings indicate that adaptations to channel models are required to simulate the effects of atmospheric turbulence placed on high-dimensional structured modes that propagate over a long distance. Our study indicates that with mitigation of vortex splitting, potentially through precorrection techniques, one could overcome the challenges in a real point-to-point free-space channel in an urban environment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lavery, Professor Martin and Padgett, Professor Miles and Boyd, Mr Robert
Authors: Lavery, M. P.J., Peuntinger, C., Günthner, K., Banzer, P., Elser, D., Boyd, R. W., Padgett, M. J., Marquardt, C., and Leuchs, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Science Advances
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN (Online):2375-2548
Published Online:25 October 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Science Advances 3(10): e1700552
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
745541EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Sponsorship Award 2016 - University of GlasgowJonathan CooperEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P510968/1RSI - RESEARCH STRATEGY & INNOVATION
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