We give an overview of functional reconstruction theory for predicting whole beam Strehl ratios in real time as applied to thermal blooming. This technique is based on our exact analytic solution to the problem of the interaction of thermal blooming and turbulence. We begin by writing down the reconstruction formula that relates a finite sized beam Strehl ratio to a sum involving the Strehl ratio of an infinite beam or periodic patch. We then define what a dynamically equivalent patch is and follow by describing the functional approach to scaling patch Strehl curves using a metric on the space of absorption profiles. We end by comparing results from our systems model based on functional reconstruction, AMPERES, which takes only seconds on any machine, with results from large nonlinear 4-d wave optics simulations.