Abstract

High-power laser beams are demonstrated to resist the spreading effects of atmospheric turbulence over a 180-m-long path. This “nonlinear self-channeling” behavior occurs when nonlinear self-focusing balances diffraction, maintaining the beam radius at a size smaller than the inner scale or coherence radius of turbulence, over the length of propagation. Nonlinear self-channeling is shown to persist into the strong-turbulence regime. However, the turbulence-induced increase in beam wander remains unchanged.

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