Abstract

Through extensive laboratory experimentation we demonstrate that the temporal frequency content of turbulence-induced scintillation strongly depends on the temperature gradient exerted at the propagation path of a collimated laser beam. We find a power law relating the turbulence strength induced by convection with the vertical temperature gradient and we show that the cutoff frequency of scintillation shows an approximately linear growth with turbulence strength, measured by angle-of-arrival fluctuations. The impact of these findings are discussed in the context of free-space optical communications.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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