A photorefractive BSO single crystal can be used for axially resolved acousto-optic imaging of thick scattering media in absence of a reference beam. This configuration renders the experimental setup easier to realize for imaging through thick scattering media with an improved optical etendue. We present here a model and simulations that explains these results. It is based on the spatial heterogeneity of the speckle pattern incident on the crystal. Optimization of the detector position and of the speckle grain size is confirmed by the model.
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