After briefly recalling the issue of OAM mode purity in strongly-guiding ring-core fibers, this paper provides a methodology to calculate the coupling strength between OAM mode groups due to fiber perturbations. The cases of stress birefringence and core ellipticity are theoretically and numerically investigated. It is found that both perturbations produce the same coupling pattern among mode groups, although with different intensities. The consequence is that birefringence causes the highest modal crosstalk because it strongly couples groups with a lower propagation-constant mismatch. The power coupling to parasitic TE and TM modes is also quantified for both perturbations and is found to be non-negligible. Approximate modal crosstalk formulas valid for weakly-guiding multi-core fibers, but whose parameters are adapted to the present case of strongly guiding OAM fibers, are found to provide a reasonable fit to numerical results. Finally, the effect that modal coupling has on OAM transmission is assessed in terms of SNR penalty.
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