The optics of a coherent lidar system using incoherent backscatter is modeled in a way that allows restilts of the wave theory of aberrations to be applied directly. Parametric plots are obtained showing the aberration and range dependence of the effective antenna area using truncated Gaussian beams. The Rayleigh criterion is an adequate guide to the optical tolerances required for the far-field return, and in the near field returns are not necessarily degraded by aberrations. Examples are given for the range weighting of returns for various primary mirror configurations.
© 1982 Optical Society of America
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