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29 January 2002 Free-space laser communication using a partially coherent laser source
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Atmospheric turbulence degrades the performance of laser communication systems in that system bit error rates can be orders of magnitude larger than in the absence of turbulence. Using a partially coherent laser beam may reduce system bit error rates due to irradiance scintillations in the receiver focal plane. In order to better understand the propagation of a partially coherent beam in atmospheric turbulence, we derive an analytic expression for the cross- spectral density of a partially coherent lowest-order Gaussian laser beam (TEM00) in turbulence. From the second moment equation expressions for the average intensity, beam size, radius of curvature and lateral coherence length are derived. These results are valid for any beam type: focused, collimated, divergent, and the limiting cases of the plane and spherical wave. We also present preliminary experimental results that indicate a reduction in bit error rates would occur if a partially coherent beam were used.
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Jennifer C. Ricklin, Frederic M. Davidson, and Thomas Weyrauch "Free-space laser communication using a partially coherent laser source", Proc. SPIE 4538, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems IV, (29 January 2002);

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