Abstract

Probability distributions of fluctuating irradiance data from experiments involving light propagation through turbulent air indicate log-normal behavior. Nevertheless, the dependence of the variance upon wave-number, turbulence strength, and propagation distance is predicted reasonably well by calculations that yield a Rice distribution, but not by other calculations based on a log-normal distribution. We suggest that the discrepancy is caused by infrequent high-irradiance fluctuations, and present an approximate solution of the electric field valid only for high irradiance that extends the lower-irradiance distribution into a log-normal tail.

© 1969 Optical Society of America

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