Abstract

We theoretically analyze and experimentally verify the performance of multiple polarization parameters in the presence of atmospheric turbulence for a terrestrial optical transmission. First, both the first- and second-moment characteristic of polarization parameters are derived based on the extended Huygens–Fresnel principle. Then, numerical simulations are presented for different propagating distances, optical source properties, and turbulent strengths. Finally, a series of well-designed experiments are carried out to verify the theory with turbulence-controlled conditions, where the polarization states are measured at two wavelengths, respectively. As a result, the theoretical predictions conform closely to the experimental data, and both show that with the increasing turbulent strength, the first-order moment of polarization parameters varies in different trends, while their second-order moment increases. The proposed approach is promising for building a comprehensive statistical model of polarization and improving the performance of a free-space optical communication link.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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