The Modulation Transfer Function and Phase Structure Function of an Optical Wave in a Turbulent Medium.

by R. F. Lutomirski, Harold T. Yura

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

A letter to the Journal of the Optical Society of America, deriving expressions for the dependence of the modulation transfer function and phase structure function of an optical wave on the Kolmogorov turbulence parameters, and demonstrating that experimental measurements can be interpreted in terms of an outer scale of turbulence of the order 10-50 cm. These values can be expected under temperature inversion conditions such as typically exist after sunset, when most optical measurements are taken. For short optical paths, the medium does not limit the resolution obtainable. The performance of an optical heterodyne detector, which involves a double integral of the MTF over the receiving aperture, might be improved by employing larger receiver apertures, despite Fried's predictions. 11 pp. Refs. (MW)

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.