Abstract

Employing the van Cittert–Zernike theorem of classical coherence theory, we derive a general expression for the efficiency with which quasi-monochromatic random light can be coupled to an optical fiber by means of a lens. For the important case of a source with Gaussian intensity distribution, we obtain and discuss the dependence of the coupling efficiency to single-mode fibers on the lens-to-fiber coupling geometry as well as on the ratio of lens size to speckle size. A specialization to the emerging fields of both incoherent and coherent fiber-based lidar applications shows that a maximum coupling efficiency of 42% can be obtained for a monostatic system.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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