A simplified propagation model is presented that provides a useful balance between accuracy, flexibility, completeness and ease of computation. The atmosphere is modeled by a combination of aberrated lenses that includes the phase front distortions generated by the device, optical train, atmospheric turbulence, and thermal blooming. When atmospheric heating occurs away from the focal plane the method gives results that are virtually identical to the exact, distributed lens analysis. The method applies especially to vertical propagation through the atmosphere and horizontal propagation of repetitively pulsed lasers. Numerical results are presented that illustrate the analysis.
© 1978 Optical Society of America
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