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Proceedings Paper

Beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence using an altitude-dependent structure profile with non-uniformly distributed phase screens
Author(s): Yousef K. Chahine; Sarah A. Tedder; Brian E. Vyhnalek; Adam C. Wroblewski
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Paper Abstract

Modeling the effects of atmospheric turbulence on optical beam propagation is a key element in the design and analysis of free-space optical communication systems. Numerical wave optics simulations provide a particularly useful technique for understanding the degradation of the optical field in the receiver plane when the analytical theory is insufficient for characterizing the atmospheric channel. Motivated by such an application, we use a splitstep method modeling the turbulence along the propagation path as a series of thin random phase screens with modified von Karman refractive index statistics using the Hufnagel-Valley turbulence profile to determine the effective structure constant for each screen. In this work, we employ a space-to-ground case study to examine the irradiance and phase statistics for both uniformly and non-uniformly spaced screens along the propagation path and compare to analytical results. We find that better agreement with the analytical theory is obtained using a non-uniform spacing with the effective structure constant for each screen chosen to minimize its contribution to the scintillation in the receiver plane. We evaluate this method as a flexible alternative to other standard layered models used in astronomical imaging applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2020
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 11272, Free-Space Laser Communications XXXII, 1127215 (2 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2543583
Show Author Affiliations
Yousef K. Chahine, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Sarah A. Tedder, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Brian E. Vyhnalek, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)
Adam C. Wroblewski, NASA Glenn Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11272:
Free-Space Laser Communications XXXII
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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