THE MOLIERE APPROXIMATION FOR WAVE PROPAGATION IN TURBULENT MEDIA
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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A solution is presented to the wave propagation equation obtained by direct analogy from a method commonly used to solve the Schrodinger equation for high-energy potential scattering. In optical communications and related devices, the random variations in the received signal due to atmospheric turbulence can represent a severe limitation to system performance. Studies of these fluctuations have been based on solutions to the wave propagation equation that are correct only to the first order in the refractive index deviation. This memorandum demonstrates a solution that is correct to all orders in the refractive index deviation and to lowest order in the stationary phase approximation. Although the solution is readily extended to next order in stationary phase, such an extension is recognized in scattering theory as unwarranted since it neglects terms of the same order from outside the region of stationary phase. The conventional Born and Rytov solutions in propagation theory are of questionable validity since they represent approximations to the extended solution.
- Non-Radio Communications