Abstract

This paper gives an overview of the use of a wave optics computer code to model the propagation of high power CO2 laser beams in the atmosphere. The nonlinear effects of atmospheric heating and kinetic cooling phenomena are included in the analysis. Only steady-state, nonturbulent cases are studied. Thermal conduction and free convection are assumed negligible compared to other effects included in the calculation. Results showing the important effect of water vapor concentration on beam quality are given. Beam slewing is also studied. Comparison is made with geometrical optics results, and good agreement is found with laboratory experiments that simulate atmospheric propagation.

© 1972 Optical Society of America

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