Abstract

Optical beams propagating through air acquire phase distortions from turbulent fluctuations in the refractive index. While these distortions are usually deleterious to propagation, beams reflected in a turbulent medium can undergo a local recovery of spatial coherence and intensity enhancement referred to as enhanced backscatter (EBS). Here we validate the commonly used phase screen simulation with experimental results obtained from lab-scale experiments. We also verify theoretical predictions of the dependence of the turbulence strength on EBS. Finally, we present a novel algorithm called the “tilt-shift method” which allows detection of EBS in frozen turbulence, reducing the time required to detect the EBS signal.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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