Abstract

Expressions are developed for the location and the size of the beam waist for a convergent Gaussian beam in statistically homogeneous and isotropic atmospheric turbulence. Subsidiary expressions are presented that lead to the maximum distance from the transmitter at which the beam waist can be located under given optical turbulence conditions and the optimal initial radius of curvature required for placing the beam waist at a desired location. The free-space beam radius W of a Gaussian beam satisfies the relationship ∂W/∂z = − W/R, where z represents the path length and R is the phase-front radius of curvature at z. By enforcing this relation on the effective beam spot size in turbulence W e, we can define an effective radius of curvature R e. In addition to specifying the beam waist, R e leads to a pair of effective beam parameters Θe and Λe that provide a natural extension to the complex amplitude plane. Within this context, general propagation characteristics may be described, including the coherence properties of a Gaussian beam in both weak and strong optical turbulence.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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