Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Physics (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Olga Korotkova

Second Committee Member

Kenneth Voss

Third Committee Member

Howard Gordon

Fourth Committee Member

Weilin Hou

Fifth Committee Member

Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic


Optical beam propagation through oceanic waters is explored using a recently proposed model for the refractive index fluctuations in oceanic turbulence. The model provides an accurate depiction of the ocean through the inclusion of both temperature and salinity fluctuations to the index of refraction. Beam characteristics of fundamental importance to communication links, remote sensing, and laser radar links are explored including intensity, degree of coherence, and scintillation. Theoretical values of these parameters are found through the use of classical Rytov theory and compared to those found using a numerical optics random phase screen simulation. The impact of the oceanic turbulence is compared with that found in atmospheric turbulence as well as other random media such as biological tissue. The results presented serve as a foundation for the study of optical beam propagation in oceanic turbulence comparable to the widely studied area of propagation through atmospheric turbulence.


Oceanic Turbulence; Optical Beam Propagation; Optics