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An angular spectrum representation is applied for a description of statistical properties of arbitrary beamlike fields propagating through atmospheric turbulence. The Rytov theory is used for the characterization of the perturbation of the field by the atmosphere. In particular, we derive expressions for the cross-spectral density of a coherent and a partially coherent beam of arbitrary type in the case when the power spectrum of atmospheric fluctuations is described by the von Karman model. We illustrate the method by applying it to the propagation of several model beams through the atmosphere.


This paper was published in Journal of the Optical Society of America A and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

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