Effects of source spatial partial coherence on intensity statistics of optical beams in mono-static turbulent channels

Tong Zhou, Jiayi Yu, Fei Wang, Yangjian Cai, Olga Korotkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate, via both experimental measurements and wave-optics computer simulations, the statistical characteristics of the fluctuating intensity, such as the average intensity, the beam wander and the scintillation index, of the Gaussian Schell-model (GSM) beams on passing through double-pass, monostatic turbulence channels with either a retro-reflector (RR) or a flat mirror (FM). Our experimental results reveal that the enhanced backscatter (EBS) gradually weakens as the spatial coherence of the GSM source decreases, and eventually disappears for the sufficiently low source spatial coherence states. The r.m.s beam wander remains practically invariant with the variation of the source coherence width in the range from 0.2 to 6.0 mm both in the case of the RR and the FM, which formed the RR case being much smaller. In addition, it is found that the long-term scintillation index of the untracked beam with the RR is smaller than that with the FM, while the situation is reversed for the short-term scintillation index of the tracked beam. In both cases, the scintillation index decreases as the spatial coherence of the GSM source decreases. The obtained computer simulation results agree reasonably well with the experimental results. In addition, the effects of spatial coherence on statistical characteristics of the GSM beams along a 1 km propagation distance through the double-pass monostatic turbulence are also investigated using wave-optics simulation. We also carry out evaluation and comparison of the intensity probability density functions for the RR and FM cases and for various source coherence states that are of utmost importance for free-space optical communications in retro-reflection modulation regime. In addition, our findings will be beneficial for the development of remote sensing and directed energy laser applications in the presence of air turbulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20135-20151
Number of pages17
JournalOptics Express
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 6 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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