Abstract

Direct sunlight is often deemed incoherent, hence unsuitable for antenna power conversion. However, all radiation exhibits spatial coherence when detected on a sufficiently small scale. We report the first direct measurement of the spatial coherence of solar beam radiation, achieved with a customized tabletop cyclic-shearing interferometer. Good agreement is found between experiment and theory, with promising ramifications for solar aperture antennas.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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