In this paper, orbital angular momentum (OAM) modes transmission in the presence of atmosphere turbulence is studied via a coupled mode theory. The Laguerre-Gauss (LG) beams with OAM topological charges are emitted into free space and undergo interactions due to the random index variations in the atmosphere. The coupling between the LG beams can be characterized by a set of coupled average power equation, which resembles the Marcuse' coupled power equation (CPE) originally proposed for the optical waveguides. The coupling coefficients and the modal radiation losses for the equation can be evaluated analytically. The accurate solution and the first order approximate solution to the CPE match the published data and the Mont-Carlos simulation results with good accuracy. The CPE and its approximate analytical solution can work as powerful tools for the analysis of the OAM beam evolution with the presence of the atmosphere turbulence.
© 2015 Optical Society of America
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