A new propagation model is developed for the intensity fluctuations of a laser beam propagating through extended clear-air turbulence. The field of the optical wave is modeled as the sum of a coherent (deterministic) component and a random component, the intensity of which is assumed governed by the generalized n distribution of Nakagami. We further assume that the statistics are inherently nonstationary by treating the average intensity of the random portion of the field as a fluctuating quantity. The resulting unconditional I–K distribution for the intensity fluctuations is a generalized form of the K distribution that is applicable to all conditions of atmospheric turbulence for which data have been obtained, including weak turbulence for which the K distribution is not theoretically applicable.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
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