Abstract

This paper describes a new technique for producing an extended incoherent microwave source and its use in generating calibrated partially coherent fields. The source consists of a planar array of commercial fluorescent lamps for which the thermal radiation corresponds to electron temperatures of over 10,000°K. The technique is significant in that, heretofore, laboratory measurements of radiation from extended microwave sources have been restricted principally to coherent fields, even though many radio propagation studies involve partially coherent fields. Radiometric measurements were made of the coherence of the extended microwave source fields and found to agree well with the van Cittert–Zernike theorem. Diffraction patterns of circular apertures illuminated by partially coherent fields were also measured and showed similar good agreement with theory.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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