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Proceedings Paper

Twelve mortal sins of the turbulence propagation science
Author(s): Mikhail Charnotskii
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Paper Abstract

In this review paper we discuss a series of typical mistakes and omissions that are made by engineers and scientists involved in the theoretical research and modeling of the optical propagation through atmospheric turbulence. We show how the use of the oversimplified Gaussian spectral model of turbulence delivers the completely erroneous results for the beam wander. We address a series of common omissions related to calculations of the average beam intensity: unnecessary use of the approximations when rigorous result is available, invalid application of the RMS beam size to the turbulence-distorted beams, overlooking the simple theoretical result - average beam intensity is a convolution with the turbulent Point Spread Function (PSF). We discuss the meaning and potential dangers of the use of the quadratic structure function for modeling of the turbulent perturbations. We will also address the issues related to the energy conservation principle and reciprocity that have very important consequences for the turbulence propagation, but are frequently overlooked in the current literature. We discuss a series of misconceptions that very common in of the Scintillation Index (SI) calculations. We will clarify the infamous misunderstanding of the Rytov's approximation: vanishing scintillation at the beam focus, and show the correct weak and strong scintillation solutions for the SI at the beam focus. We discuss the flaws of the Fried model of the short-term PSF, and direct to the more accurate PSF model. We will briefly review the propagation of the polarized optical waves through turbulence and discuss the inadequacy of the recently published calculations of the electromagnetic beams calculations. We discuss some common errors in representation of the calculation results for the non-Kolmogorov turbulence.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2011
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8162, Free-Space and Atmospheric Laser Communications XI, 816205 (14 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.894550
Show Author Affiliations
Mikhail Charnotskii, Zel Technologies, LLC (United States)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8162:
Free-Space and Atmospheric Laser Communications XI
Arun K. Majumdar; Christopher C. Davis, Editor(s)

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