The gain of centrally obscured optical transmitting antennas is analyzed in detail. The calculations, resulting in near- and far-field antenna gain patterns, assume a circular antenna illuminated by a laser operating in the TEM00 mode. A simple polynomial equation is derived for matching the incident source distribution to a general antenna configuration for maximum on-axis gain. An interpretation of the resultant gain curves allows a number of auxiliary design curves to be drawn that display the losses in antenna gain due to pointing errors and the cone angle of the beam in the far field as a function of antenna aperture size and its central obscuration. The results are presented in a series of graphs that allow the rapid and accurate evaluation of the antenna gain which may then be substituted into the conventional range equation.
© 1974 Optical Society of America
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