We derive the analytical formula of the energy weight of each orbital angular momentum (OAM) mode of twisted Gaussian Schell-model (TGSM) beams propagating in weak turbulent atmosphere. The evolution of its OAM spectrum is studied by numerical calculation. Our results show that the OAM spectrum of a TGSM beam changes with the beam propagating in turbulent atmosphere, which is completely different from that of the TGSM beam propagating in free space. Furthermore, influences of the source parameters and the turbulence parameters on the OAM spectrum of a TGSM beam in turbulent atmosphere are analyzed. It is found that the source parameters and turbulence parameters, such as twist factor, coherence length, beam waist size, and structure constant, have a significant influence on the OAM spectrum, but the value of the wavelength and inner scale have little influence. Increasing the beam waist size or decreasing the coherence length would lead to the OAM spectrum broadened in the source plane, but would be robust for the OAM modes of the TGSM beam in the turbulent atmosphere. It is clear that the bigger the value of the twist factor, the more asymmetric the OAM mode of the TGSM beam is, and the better mode distribution can be maintained when it propagates in turbulent atmosphere. Our results have potential applications in reducing the error rate of free-space optical communication and detecting the atmospheric parameters.
© 2019 Optical Society of America
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