We discuss a general theoretical framework for representing and propagating fully coherent, fully incoherent, and the intermediate regime of partially coherent submillimeter-wave fields by means of general sampled basis functions, which may have any degree of completeness. Partially coherent fields arise when finite-throughput systems induce coherence on incoherent fields. This powerful extension to traditional modal analysis methods by using undercomplete Gaussian–Hermite modes can be employed to analyze and optimize such Gaussian quasi-optical techniques. We focus on one particular basis set, the Gabor basis, which consists of overlapping translated and modulated Gaussian beams. We present high-accuracy numerical results from field reconstructions and propagations. In particular, we perform one-dimensional analyses illustrating the Van Cittert–Zernike theorem and then extend our simulations to two dimensions, including simple models of horn and bolometer arrays. Our methods and results are of practical importance as a method for analyzing terahertz fields, which are often partially coherent and diffraction limited so that ray tracing is inaccurate and physical optics computationally prohibitive.
© 2004 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article