In this paper, we explore the potential capabilities of new laser scanning-based method for direction determination. The method for fully coherent beams is extended to the case when interference pattern is produced in the turbulent atmosphere by two partially coherent sources. The performed theoretical analysis identified the conditions under which stable pattern may form on extended paths of 0.5–10 km in length. We describe a method for selecting laser scanner parameters, ensuring the necessary operability range in the atmosphere for any possible turbulence characteristics. The method is based on analysis of the mean intensity of interference pattern, formed by two partially coherent sources of optical radiation. Visibility of interference pattern is estimated as a function of propagation pathlength, structure parameter of atmospheric turbulence, and spacing of radiation sources, producing the interference pattern. It is shown that, when atmospheric turbulences are moderately strong, the contrast of interference pattern of laser scanner may ensure its applicability at ranges up to 10 km.
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