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Proceedings Paper

Gaussian beam scintillation on ground-to-space paths: the importance of beam wander
Author(s): Gary J. Baker; Robert S. Benson
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Paper Abstract

Predictions of scintillation for ground to space collimated Gaussian beams generated from a numerical wave optics simulation are compared with recent weak scintillation theory developed from the Rytov perturbation approach (L.C. Andrews, R.L. Phillips, P.T. Yu, Ap Opt 34, p 7742-7751, 1995; J.D. Shelton, JOSA A 12, p 2172-2181, 1995). Significant discrepancies are revealed for intermediate-sized beams, defined as beams whose initial diameters place the near ground turbulence in the transmitter near field and the remote space target in the transmitter far field. By adding wander tracking to the wave optics simulation, and by developing a separate analytic model of the beam wander scintillation mechanism, we show that the scintillation for intermediate-sized beams is dominated by turbulence-induced beam wander at the target, and that the results from the wave optics simulation are accurate. We conclude that the analytic theory’s treatment of beam wander is incomplete, leading to the output of incorrect predictions for the second moment of irradiance. The error is most severe at the target point on the transmitter’s optical axis.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5550, Free-Space Laser Communications IV, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.558812
Show Author Affiliations
Gary J. Baker, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr. (United States)
Robert S. Benson, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5550:
Free-Space Laser Communications IV
Jennifer C. Ricklin; David G. Voelz, Editor(s)

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