Abstract

Accurate simulation, on a laboratory scale, of atmospherically induced scintillation phenomena is achieved by creating an unstable vertical temperature gradient in a 1.5-m long, 40-cm wide, and 60-cm deep water tank. The turbulent index of refraction has a statistical structure similar to that of the atmosphere, in particular, Kolmogorov’s inertial subrange model is verified. The measured saturation and supersaturation of the irradiance variance agree very well with theory and atmospheric data. The simulation results are properly scaled by the first-order expression for the log-amplitude variance, and the saturation distance is typically reduced by a factor of 300–400.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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