Abstract

Intensity interferometry, as developed by Hanbury Brown and Twiss for stellar observation, has shown relative insensitivity to atmospheric scintillation. However, with classical sources, the limitations placed on this technique by quantum noise and detector efficiency are severe. This situation is vastly improved when laser illumination is employed. Generalizing a form of the mutual coherence function, we derive the far-zone behavior of the mutual intensity function for an intermediate time average. This result is used to reconstruct the irradiance distribution of a spatially rough source. The far-field intensity distribution is recorded spatially for one time-resolution unit of the detector. The resulting spatial signal is autocorrelated and related to the intensity distribution over the source. Thus, without averaging in the time domain, a spatial Fourier-transform relation is derived between the far-field intensity correlation and the source irradiance, similar to the results of Hanbury Brown and Twiss.

© 1973 Optical Society of America

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