Atmospheric scintillations and laser safety

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Laser devices are currently in widespread use in particular by armed forces for different tasks. Electro-optical sensors as well as unprotected human eyes are extremely sensitive to laser radiation and can be permanently damaged from direct or reflected beams. Laser damage depends on the interaction between the laser beam and the atmosphere in which it traverses. The atmospheric conditions, including the range, terrain features, turbulence, and atmospheric particulates, may alter the laser's effect on different electro-optical devices and systems. When a laser beam passes through the atmosphere the optical turbulence affects the beam. As a result, temporal intensity fluctuations (scintillations) or spatial variations in intensity within a beam cross-section occur. Atmospheric scintillations pose a safety problem because an observer or sensor can be subjected to the risk of a localized irradiance (local focusing effect) much greater than that which would occur in a non-turbulent medium. In the present work, the influence of the atmospheric channel on laser safety is investigated by use of experimental data of laser beam propagation statistics for different atmospheric conditions. The results can be important in the area of laser remote sensing, wireless optical communications, and active imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAtmospheric Optics IV
Subtitle of host publicationTurbulence and Propagation
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2011
EventAtmospheric Optics IV: Turbulence and Propagation - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 23 Aug 201124 Aug 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceAtmospheric Optics IV: Turbulence and Propagation
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Laser safety
  • Scintillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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