Abstract

Current mathematical scintillation theory describing laser propagation through the atmosphere has been developed for terrestrial environments. Scintillation expressions valid in all regimes of optical turbulence for propagation in the maritime environment, based on what we believe to be a newly developed marine atmospheric spectrum, have been developed for spherical waves. Path average values of the structure parameter, Cn2, were inferred from optical scintillation measurements of a diverged laser beam propagating in a marine environment, using scintillation expressions based on both terrestrial and marine refractive index spectra. In the moderate-to-strong fluctuation regime, the inferred marine Cn2 values were about 20% smaller than inferred terrestrial Cn2 values, but a minimal difference was observed in the weak fluctuation regime. Measurements of angle-of-arrival fluctuations were used to infer Cn2 values in the moderate-to-strong fluctuation regime, resulting in values of the structure parameter that were at least an order of magnitude larger than the two scintillation-inferred Cn2 values.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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