, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 237-244
Date: 20 Nov 2010

Intensity fluctuations of partially coherent laser beam arrays in weak atmospheric turbulence

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The intensity fluctuation of a partially coherent laser beam array is examined. For this purpose, the on-axis scintillation index at the receiver plane is analytically formulated via the extended Huygens–Fresnel diffraction integral in conditions of weak atmospheric turbulence. The effects of the propagation length, number of beamlets, radial distance, source size, wavelength of operation and coherence level on the scintillation index are investigated for a horizontal propagation path. It is found that, regardless of the number of beamlets, the scintillation index always rises with an increasing propagation length. If laser beam arrays become less coherent, the scintillation index begins to fall with growing source sizes. Given the same level of partial coherence, slightly less scintillations will occur when the radial distance of the beamlets from the origin is increased. At partial coherence levels, lower scintillations are observed for larger numbers of beamlets. Both for fully and partially coherent laser beam arrays, scintillations will drop on increasing wavelengths.