Abstract

We report experiments in which a fiber-coupled heterodyne laser system operating at a wavelength of 1.5 µm is used to measure the phase fluctuations induced on a laser beam by passage through a thin layer of turbulent air and subsequent propagation through free space. We investigate the statistical properties and power spectra of the phase and its rate of change, in addition to the intensity statistics. We find that the power spectrum of the rate of change of phase has a simple negative exponential form. We discuss our results in the context of the problem of detection of phase variations over an extended turbulent atmospheric path.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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