High-speed complex phase retrieval of a Gaussian beam propagating through controlled optical turbulence

Eduardo Peters*, Marco Sepúlveda, Pablo Scherz, Leandro Nuñez, Darío G. Pérez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Optical turbulence induces distortions in amplitude and phase in any beam propagating through it, resulting in beam spreading, beam wandering, and irradiance fluctuations among other effects. Due to the dynamic nature of these effects, the complex field reconstruction of a perturbed beam presents a great experimental challenge. Interferometric wavefront reconstruction techniques require very sophisticated assemblies prone to alignment errors due to their high sensitivity to environmental disturbances. This hinders its experimental implementation. New complex phase retrieval methods overcome most of the limitations of interferometric methods: they are suitable for amplitude or phase objects (or both) and their reconstruction algorithms—based on propagation equations—make unnecessary any a-priori knowledge of the beam to be reconstructed. We propose an experimental implementation of a complex phase retrieval technique for the characterization of Gaussian beams propagating through turbulence. This technique is based on binary amplitude modulation using a digital micro-mirror device (DMD) which has proven to be suitable for dynamic applications. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental high-speed complex wavefront reconstruction of optical beams—by binary amplitude modulation—through controlled real turbulence. This experiment represents the first step in our research focused on understanding optical turbulence from an experimental point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Effects on Light Propagation and Adaptive Systems V
EditorsKarin Stein, Szymon Gladysz
ISBN (Electronic)9781510655355
StatePublished - 2022
EventEnvironmental Effects on Light Propagation and Adaptive Systems V 2022 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 6 Sep 2022 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceEnvironmental Effects on Light Propagation and Adaptive Systems V 2022
Period6/09/22 → …

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID), Chile (FONDECYT 1211848); Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), Chile (Project 123.774/2021).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 SPIE.


  • atmospheric turbulence
  • complex-phase reconstruction


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