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Optical Engineering

Aggregate behavior of branch points: characterization in wave optical simulation
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Paper Abstract

Atmospheric turbulence imparts phase distortions on propagating optical waves. These distortions couple into amplitude fluctuations at the pupil of a telescope, which, for strong enough phase distortions, produce zeros in the amplitude called branch points. In our earlier work, we presented the case that branch points can be utilized as a source of information on the turbulent atmosphere. Using our bench-top data, we have demonstrated several properties of branch points including motion, density, persistence and separation. We have shown that the pupil plane motion of subsets of branch points scales to the velocities of atmospheric turbulence layers and identifies the number of branch point producing layers. We have identified empirical relationships for density and separation as functions of the strength and altitude for a single layer. All of this work has been done using a bench-top adaptive optics system utilizing a two-layer atmospheric turbulence simulator. In this paper, we use simulations to verify these previous results by showing that all of these branch point properties follow similar behaviors in independently anchored wave optics simulations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 October 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Opt. Eng. 51(10) 106001 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.51.10.106001
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 51, Issue 10
Show Author Affiliations
Denis W. Oesch, SAIC (United States)
Carolyn M. Tewksbury-Christle, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Darryl J. Sanchez, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Patrick R. Kelly, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

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