Optical EngineeringMethod for determining the spatial correlation width of a Gaussian-Schell beam to optimize the scintillation index over long horizontal turbulent paths
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We describe a method for controlling the spatial correlation width of a propagating Gaussian-Schell model (GSM) beam in an unknown turbulent atmosphere to optimize the scintillation index (SI). In our approach we slowly change a simulated GSM beam from incoherent to coherent by controlling the coherence through the spatial correlation width. The goal is to use statistics to determine the point just before a GSM beam becomes too coherent and starts to exhibit the statistics of a fully coherent source. We define this value of the spatial correlation width as the upper-coherence limit. We show that there is a straightforward method of calculating the upper-coherence limit in a closed channel regardless of turbulence strength or aperture size.