Abstract

When an optical imaging system is treated as a linear system, for incoherently illuminated objects, a statistically homogeneous, isotropic, random medium placed between the object and the imaging system multiplies the free-space transfer function of the optical system by a correction factor. If a medium having a Gaussian-correlated refractive index is assumed, then the correction factor for an on-axis quasimonochromatic point source has the form a+b erf x/x for propagation distances that are in the near field of the correlation interval of the medium. This form is found by using the first Born approximation to the two coupled wave equations satisfied by a mutual coherence function. The ensemble-averaged effect of imaging through a random medium is that the medium acts as a low-pass filter, decreasing the resolution of the imaging system.

© 1964 Optical Society of America

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