The scintillation statistics of a multiwavelength Gaussian optical beam are characterized when the beam is subjected to a turbulent optical channel. It is assumed that the level of turbulence in the atmosphere ensures a weak-turbulence scenario and that fluctuations in the signal intensity are due to variations in the refractive index of the medium, which in turn are caused by regional temperature variations due to atmospheric turbulence. Furthermore, it is assumed that the propagation path is nearly horizontal and that the heights of the transmitter and receiver justify a near-ground propagation assumption. The Rytov approximation is used to arrive at the desired results. Furthermore, it is assumed that the first- as well as second-order perturbation terms are present in modeling the impact of atmosphere-induced scintillation. Numerical results are presented to shed light on the performance of multiwavelength optical radiation in weak turbulence and to underscore the benefits of the proposed approach as compared with its single-wavelength counterpart in combating the effect of turbulence. Furthermore, it is shown that if the separation of wavelengths used is sufficiently large, wavelength separation affects the scintillation index in a measurable way.
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