Abstract

Based on the modified beam model for flat-topped beams and the Schell model for partially coherent light, an expression for partially coherent flat-topped (PCFT) beams has been proposed. The propagation characteristics of PCFT beams with circular symmetry through a turbulent atmosphere have been studied. By using the generalized Huygens–Fresnel integral and Fourier transform method, the expressions for the cross-spectral density function and the average intensity have been given and the analytical expression for the root-mean-square width has been derived. The effects of the beam order, the spatial coherence, and the turbulent parameter on the intensity distributions and beam spreading have been discussed in detail. Our results show that the on-axis intensity of the beams decreases with increasing turbulence and decreasing coherence of the source, whereas the on-axis intensity of the beams in the far field decreases slightly with increasing beam order. The relative spreading of PCFT beams is smaller for beams with a higher order, a lower degree of global coherence of the source, a larger inner scale, and a smaller outer scale of the turbulence.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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