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The decrease in scintillation with increasing telescope collecting area, known as aperture averaging, had been recognized in early astronomical measurements made in the 1950s . These same measurements revealed that aperture averaging causes a shift of the relative frequency content of the irradiance power spectrum toward lower frequencies - in essence, averaging out the fastest fluctuations. More recently, aperture averaging effects have been studied in the context of laser beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence [2-8].
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