Heterodyne efficiency of a coherent lidar system reflects the matching of phase and amplitude between a local oscillator (LO) beam and received signal beam and is, therefore, an indicator of system performance. One aspect of a lidar system that affects heterodyne efficiency is aberrations present in optical components. A method for including aberrations in the determination of heterodyne efficiency is presented. The effect of aberrations on heterodyne efficiency is demonstrated by including Seidel aberrations in the mixing of two perfectly matched gaussian beams. Results for this case are presented as animations that illustrate the behavior of the mixing as a function of time. Extension of this method to propagation through lidar optical systems is discussed.
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