Abstract

To elucidate laser-beam scintillation in the atmosphere, the distribution of mean-square fluctuations was studied for a gaussian light beam propagating through a randomly inhomogeneous medium. This paper extends that analysis and evaluates the spatially transverse autocorrelation between the fluctuations of log amplitude and phase at the center and off the axis of a gaussian beam by assuming a gaussian covariance for the inhomogeneities of the medium. The dependence of the spatial autocorrelations of the gaussian beam upon the wave parameter relating to the distance of propagation and upon the shape of the beam radiated from the light source is treated by comparison with the cases of plane and spherical waves. The autocorrelation of a collimated beam is nearly intermediate between plane and spherical waves in the Fraunhofer region of the medium correlation length. Near the focal plane of a transmitting lens, the autocorrelation of a focused beam is very different from that of a collimated beam.

© 1968 Optical Society of America

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