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10 February 2012 On approaching the ultimate limits of communication using a photon-counting detector
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Coherent states achieve the Holevo capacity of a pure-loss channel when paired with an optimal measurement, but a physical realization of this measurement scheme is as of yet unknown, and it is also likely to be of high complexity. In this paper, we focus on the photon-counting measurement and study the photon and dimensional efficiencies attainable with modulations over classical- and nonclassical-state alphabets. We analyze two binary-modulation architectures that improve upon the dimensional versus photon efficiency tradeoff achievable with the state-of-the-art coherent-state on-off keying modulation. We show that at high photon efficiency these architectures achieve an efficiency tradeoff that differs from the best possible tradeoff--determined by the Holevo capacity--by only a constant factor. The first architecture we analyze is a coherent-state transmitter that relies on feedback from the receiver to control the transmitted energy. The second architecture uses a single-photon number-state source.
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Baris I. Erkmen, Bruce E. Moision, Samuel J. Dolinar, Kevin M. Birnbaum, and Dariush Divsalar "On approaching the ultimate limits of communication using a photon-counting detector", Proc. SPIE 8246, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies XXIV, 824605 (10 February 2012);

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