The propagation of a multi-Gaussian beam in turbulent atmosphere in a slant path is studied. The analytical expression for the average intensity of a general multi-Gaussian beam is derived. As special cases the average intensities of a two- and a four-Gaussian beam are investigated and numerically calculated. The investigation reveals that at lower altitude and with large σ the intensity distribution at the receiver plane can have a shape (multiple peaks) similar to that at the source plane. But with increase in altitude or decrease in σ, the multiple peaks gradually disappear and evolve into the profile of a fundamental Gaussian beam. From the comparisons between the different propagations we can see that the beam spreading due to wavelength and initial waist width in a slant path is much slower than that in a horizontal path.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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