Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew E. Goda, PhD


This research provides the first organized comparison of random phase screen generation methods, including logarithmic polar Fourier series, using structure functions. Random phase screens are essential elements of simulating light propagation through turbulent media. In order to be effective, they must accurately reflect theory and be practical to implement. This research explains and evaluates three methods of generating random phase screens: using a Fourier series upon a polar frequency grid with logarithmic spacing; using the fast Fourier transform, with its Cartesian frequency grid; and using Zernike polynomials. It provides a comparison of the Polar Fourier Series technique with the two more common techniques (Fast Fourier Transform and Zernike), with the end result of giving the users enough information to choose which method best fits their needs. The evaluation criteria used are generation time (usability) and phase structure function (accuracy).

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number