Skip to Main Content
This work considers the design of capacity-approaching, non-uniform optical intensity signalling in the presence of average and peak amplitude constraints. Although it is known that the capacity-achieving input distribution is discrete with a finite number of mass points, finding it requires complex non-linear optimization at every SNR. In this work, a simple expression for a capacity-approaching distribution is derived via source entropy maximization. The resulting mutual information using the derived discrete non-uniform input distribution is negligibly far away from the channel capacity. The computation of this distribution is substantially less complex than previous optimization approaches and can be easily computed at different SNRs. A practical algorithm for non-uniform optical intensity signalling is presented using multi-level coding followed by a mapper and multi-stage decoding at the receiver. The proposed signalling is simulated on free-space optical channels and outage capacity is analyzed. A significant gain in both rate and probability of outage is achieved compared to uniform signalling, especially in the case of channels corrupted by fog.