Imaging and communications through non-Kolmogorov turbulence

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

2 Scopus citations


At present, system design usually assumes the Kolmogorov model of refractive index fluctuation spectra in the atmosphere. However, experimental data indicates that in the atmospheric boundary layer and at higher altitudes the turbulence can be different from Kolmogorov's type. In optical communications, analytical models of mean irradiance and scintillation index have been developed for a traditional Kolmogorov spectrum and must be revised for non-Kolmogorov turbulence. The image quality (resolution, MTF, etc.) is essentially dependent on the properties of turbulent media. Turbulence MTF must be generalized to include non-Kolmogorov statistics. The change in fluctuation correlations of the refractive index can lead to a considerable change in both the MTF form and the resolution value. In this work, on the basis of measurements and model calculations, the influence of non-Kolmogorov turbulence on imaging and communications through the atmosphere is estimated for different scenarios of vertical and slant-path propagation. The atmospheric model of an arbitrary (non-Kolmogorov) spectrum is applied to estimate the statistical quantities associated with optical communication links (e.g., scintillation and fading statistics) and imaging system. Implications can be significant for optical communication, imaging through the atmosphere, and remote sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAtmospheric Optics
Subtitle of host publicationModels, Measurements, and Target-in-the-Loop Propagation III
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009
EventAtmospheric Optics: Models, Measurements, and Target-in-the-Loop Propagation III - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20094 Aug 2009

Publication series

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


ConferenceAtmospheric Optics: Models, Measurements, and Target-in-the-Loop Propagation III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • atmospheric turbulence
  • image quality
  • optical communications
  • turbulence spectrum

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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