The capacity of channel is tha highest data rate it can reliably support.Whenever the data rate is less than the capacity of the channel, there exists an error-correcting code for the channel that has an output probability of error as small as desired, and coversely, whenever the data rate is more than the capacity the probability oferror is bounded away from zero. The capacity is determined an optical channel employing Pulse Position modulation (PPM) and an Avalanche Photodiode (APD) detector. The channel is different from the usual optical channel in that the detector output is characterized by a webb-plus-gaussian distribution, not a poisson distribution. The capacity is expressed as a funtion
of the PPM order, solt width ,laser dead time , average number of incident singal and background photons received, and APD parameters. Based on a system using a laser and detector proposed for x2000 second delivery, numerical results provide upper bounds on the data rate and level of background noise that the channel can support while operating at a given BER For the particular case studied, the capacity-maximizing PPM order is near 2048 for nighttime reception
and 16 for daytime reception. Reed-Solomon codes can hanndle backgroun levels 2.3 to 7.6 dB below the ultimate level that can be handled by codes operating at the Shannon limit.