Abstract

The variance of the log-amplitude of a laser beam is evaluated for a horizontal propagation path through the atmosphere. The treatment is based upon results obtained by Schmeltzer. It is found that the log-amplitude variance can be separated into two factors, one of which is simply the log-amplitude variance of a spherical wave, as derived by Tatarski. The second factor, which contains the dependence upon the size α0 of the transmitted beam, can be written as a function of 02/z, where k is the wave number and z is the path length. This second factor shows a significant oscillation around 02/z = 1 when the transmitted beam is collimated, and starts to roll off strongly for 02/z>1 when the transmitted beam is focused at a range z.

© 1967 Optical Society of America

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