We summarize the principle and experimental setup of optical steganography based on amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) noise. Using ASE noise as the signal carrier, optical steganography effectively hides a stealth channel in both the time domain and the frequency domain. Coherent detection is used at the receiver of the stealth channel. Because ASE noise has short coherence length and random phase, it only interferes with itself within a very short range. Coherent detection requires the stealth transmitter and stealth receiver to precisely match the optical delay,which generates a large key space for the stealth channel. Several methods to further improve optical steganography, signal to noise ratio, compatibility with the public channel, and applications of the stealth channel are also summarized in this review paper.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.