On the basis of the extended Huygens-Fresnel principle, the cross-spectral density matrix (CSDM) of partially coherent Gaussian Schell-model (GSM) beams in the slant atmospheric turbulence is derived. Given that the light emitted from a transmitter is elliptically polarized light, the degree of polarization (DoP) of the partially coherent GSM beams is represented by Stokes parameters expressed by the elements of the CSDM. The expressions of the orientation angle, polarized light intensity in the major axis are derived and the numerical results are presented. Depolarization theory is studied using a Mueller matrix and the depolarization index (DI) is obtained to describe the depolarized state of the partially coherent GSM beams propagating in the slant atmospheric turbulence. Results show that the DOP and DI of the beam tend to their initial value in the long-range propagation.
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