Based on the theory of the structure of atmospheric turbulence, the propagation of the optical pulses from a point source in the atmosphere, where the refractive index varies randomly, is studied by use of the Rytov method. The mean-square amplitude and phase fluctuations are evaluated for pulse lengths short compared with the time in which the refractive index varies significantly. The results are identical to Tatar-ski results for the continuous-spherical-wave (csw) case. Available data from continuous-wave (cw) and pulsed-laser experiments confirm this conclusion.
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