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The statistical performance of pulsed optical radars that use energy detection is considered. While the signal photoelectron statistics produced by a return from a specular target are Poisson, those produced by a return from a rough target are shown to be negative binomial. Radar performance is shown to depend on the number of spatial correlation cells of energy density observed by the receiving aperture, with performance generally deteriorating as the number of observed cells decreases. The physical factors influencing the number of observed correlation cells for the cases of partial and total interception of the transmitted beam are examined.