We propose an algorithm and the results of a numerical study of random realizations and statistics of a pulsed coherent lidar return that allow for refractive turbulence. We show that, under conditions of refractive turbulence, the relative variance of the lidar return power can exceed unity by a factor of as much as 1.5. Clear manifestations of the turbulent effect of backscattering amplification have been revealed from simulations of space-based lidar sensing of the atmosphere with coherent lidar. Under conditions of strong optical turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer, as a result of the backscattering amplification effect, the mean lidar return power can exceed the return power in the absence of turbulence by a factor of 3.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(010.1300) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric propagation
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(030.6140) Coherence and statistical optics : Speckle
(290.5930) Scattering : Scintillation
Viktor A. Banakh, Igor N. Smalikho, and Christian Werner, "Numerical Simulation of the Effect of Refractive Turbulence on Coherent Lidar Return Statistics in the Atmosphere," Appl. Opt. 39, 5403-5414 (2000)