In this article, the transmission performance of a circle polarization shift keying (CPolSK)-based free space optical (FSO) system working in space-to-ground channel is analyzed. Formulas describing the optical polarization distortion caused by the atmospheric turbulence and the communication qualities in terms of signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR), bit-error-ratio (BER) and outage probability of the proposed system are derived. Based on the Stokes parameters data measured by a Japanese optical communication satellite, we evaluate the space-to-ground FSO link and simulate the system performance under a varying regime of turbulence strength. The proposed system provides a more efficient way to compensate scintillation effects in a comparison with the on-off-keying (OOK)-based FSO system. These results are useful to the designing and evaluating of a deep space FSO communication system.
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