Measurement and limitations of optical orbital angular momentum through corrected atmospheric turbulence

Richard Neo, Michael Goodwin, Jessica Zheng, Jon Lawrence, Sergio Leon-Saval, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Gabriel Molina-Terriza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, there have been a series of proposals to exploit the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of light for astronomical applications. The OAM of light potentially represents a new way in which to probe the universe. The study of this property of light entails the development of new instrumentation and problems which must be addressed. One of the key issues is whether we can overcome the loss of the information carried by OAM due to atmospheric turbulence. We experimentally analyze the effect of atmospheric turbulence on the OAM content of a signal over a range of realistic turbulence strengths typical for astronomical observations. With an adaptive optics system we are able to recover up to 89% power in an initial non-zero OAM mode (ℓ = 1) at low turbulence strengths (0.30" FWHM seeing). However, for poorer seeing conditions (1.1" FWHM seeing), the amount of power recovered is significantly lower (5%), showing that for the terrestrial detection of astronomical OAM, a careful design of the adaptive optics system is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2919-2930
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2016

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