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Appl Opt. 1982 Mar 1;21(5):839-44. doi: 10.1364/AO.21.000839.

Primary aberration contribution to incoherent backscatter heterodyne lidar returns.

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  • 1University of Hull, Department of Applied Physics, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK.


The optics of a coherent lidar system using incoherent backscatter is modeled in a way that allows results of the wave theory of aberrations to be applied directly. Parametric plots are obtained showing the aberration and range dependence of the effective antenna area using truncated Gaussian beams. The Rayleigh criterion is an adequate guide to the optical tolerances required for the far-field return, and in the near field returns are not necessarily degraded by aberrations. Examples are given for the range weighting of returns for various primary mirror configurations.

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