Abstract

Based on the generalized beam formulation, we derive the scintillation index and selectively evaluate it for cos–Gaussian and annular beams propagating in weak atmospheric turbulence. Dependence of the scintillation index on propagation length, focusing and displacement parameters, wavelength of operation, and source size are individually investigated. From our graphical outputs, it is observed that a cos–Gaussian beam exhibits lower scintillations and thus has a tendency to be advantageous over a pure Gaussian beam particularly at lower propagation lengths. It is also found that at longer propagation lengths, this advantage switches to the side of the annular beam. Furthermore, the scintillation index of a focused annular beam will be below those of both Gaussian and cos–Gaussian beams starting at earlier propagation distances. When analyzed against source sizes, it is seen that cos–Gaussian beams will offer advantages at relatively large source sizes, while the reverse will be applicable for annular beams.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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