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Free Space Optical System Performance for a Gaussian Beam Propagating Through Non-Kolmogorov Weak Turbulence

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4 Author(s)
Italo Toselli ; Florida Space Inst., Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL ; Larry C. Andrews ; Ronald L. Phillips ; Valter Ferrero

Atmospheric turbulence has been described for many years by Kolmogorov's power spectral density model because of its simplicity. Unfortunately several experiments have been reported recently that show Kolmogorov theory is sometimes incomplete to describe atmospheric statistics properly, in particular in portions of the troposphere and stratosphere. It is known that free space laser system performance is limited by atmospheric turbulence. In this paper we use a non-Kolmogorov power spectrum which uses a generalized exponent instead of constant standard exponent value 11/3 and a generalized amplitude factor instead of constant value 0.033. Using this spectrum in weak turbulence, we carry out, for a Gaussian beam propagating along a horizontal path, analysis of long term beam spread, scintillation, probability of fade, mean signal to noise ratio and mean bit error rate as variation of the spectrum exponent. Our theoretical results show that for alpha values lower than alpha = 11/3, but not for alpha close to alpha = 3, there is a remarkable increase of scintillation and consequently a major penalty on the system performance. However when alpha assumes values close to alpha = 3 or for alpha values higher than alpha = 11/3 scintillation decreases leading to an improvement on the system performance.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 6 )