We propose and experimentally demonstrate an optical steganography method in which a data signal is transmitted using amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise as a carrier. The ASE serving as a carrier for the private signal has an identical frequency spectrum to the existing noise generated by the Erbium doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) in the transmission system. The system also carries a conventional data channel that is not private. The so-called “stealth” or private channel is well-hidden within the noise of the system. Phase modulation is used for both the stealth channel and the public channel. Using homodyne detection, the short coherence length of the ASE ensures that the stealth signal can only be recovered if the receiver closely matches the delay-length difference, which is deliberately changed in a dynamic fashion that is only known to the transmitter and its intended receiver.
Wu, Ben; Wang, Zhenxing; Tian, Yue; Fok, Mable; Shastri, Bhavin; Kanoff, Daniel; and Prucnal, Paul, "Optical steganography based on amplified spontaneous emission noise" (2013). Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering Faculty Scholarship. 77.
Wu, B., Wang, Z., Tian, Y, Fok, M., Shastri, B. Kanoff, D., & Prucnal, P. (2013). Optical steganography based on amplified spontaneous emission noise. Optics Express, 21(2), 2065-2071.