The diffraction theory of optical scintillations has so far failed to describe
the propagation of light over paths where the integrated amount of
refractive-index turbulence is sufficient to cause saturation of the
scintillations. We present a simple, physically based elaboration of the
first-order perturbation theory and compare it with observations. Our theory
reproduces in detail the observed saturation curve and the observed spatial
covariance of the scintillations. In particular, we show why the fine-scale
structure of scintillations persists deep into the saturation regime.
© 1974 Optical Society of America
Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.