Abstract

The log-irradiance variance of an intense laser beam that propagates in an absorbing medium with a turbulent velocity is determined. The irradiance fluctuations result from the random refractive-index variations created by turbulent convection of the energy absorbed from the beam. The index of refraction, assumed to depend only upon temperature, is found by linearizing the heat-transport equation. Linearization is shown to be valid because of the finite extent of the induced temperature gradient. The results are valid in the geometrical-optics approximation with the restriction that l0/5.91 ≪ aL0, where l0 and L0 are the inner and outer scales of turbulence, respectively, and a is the laser-beam radius.

© 1974 Optical Society of America

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Equations (31)

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