In a strongly turbulent medium, the scintillation index of flat-topped Gaussian beams is derived and evaluated. In the formulation, unified solution of Rytov method is utilized. Our results correctly reduce to the existing strong turbulence scintillation index of the Gaussian beam, and naturally to spherical and plane wave scintillations. Another checkpoint of our result is the scintillation index of flat-topped Gaussian beams in weak turbulence. Regardless of the order of flatness, scintillations of flat-topped Gaussian beams in strong turbulence are found to be determined mainly by the small-scale effects. For large-sized beams in moderate and strongly turbulent medium, flatter beams exhibit smaller scintillations.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
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