Abstract

The hard-aperture effect on self-focusing of high-power laser beams propagating from the ground through the atmosphere to space orbits is studied. It is shown that the spot size on the target increases as the truncation parameter decreases and the beam power increases. However, as the truncation parameter decreases, the apertured laser beam is less affected by self-focusing. On the other hand, two effective design rules are presented to optimize the intensity on the target, i.e., the optimal power and the optimal focal length. It is proven that the self-focusing effect and the hard-aperture effect both can be compensated by applying the optimal initial beam defocusing. It is also found that the higher maximum intensity on the target will occur by applying the optimal focal length rather than the optimal power.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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