Abstract

A new probability-density function (PDF) is proposed for irradiance scintillations in the case of strong scintillation (i.e., irradiance variance decreases with further increases in path-averaged refractive-index turbulence). This new PDF is named the log-normally modulated exponential PDF. This PDF is compared with experimental PDF’s of both irradiance and photon counts obtained from atmospheric laser propagation; the agreement is excellent (superior to that of the K PDF). Receiver–aperture-averaged irradiance is shown to be log normal for sufficiently large apertures. Comparison of moments of measured irradiance with theoretical moments shows that the moment comparison method of testing irradiance statistics can be very misleading because of the limitations of receivers and the sensitivity of high-order moments to very large irradiances.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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