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The authors investigate the behavior of spatially Partially Coherent Beams (PCBs) in the presence of pointing errors in the space communication environment. Closed form expressions for the optimal coherence length for minimizing outage probability and maximizing average Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) are derived. In the case of outage probability, they observe that the optimal coherence parameter does not depend on the pointing error statistics. For average SNR results, PCBs can improve performance when large fixed beam offsets are present. They also provide BER performance analysis results for a convolutionally coded system and demonstrate significant performance improvement using PCBs with optimized parameters.
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