Proceedings PaperCASOAR: an infrared active wavefront sensor for atmospheric turbulence analysis
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Knowledge of deformation of every point of a wave front over time allows statistical turbulence parameters to be analyzed, and the definition of real time adaptive optics to be designed. An optical instrumentation was built to meet this need. Integrated in a compact enclosure for experiments on outdoor sites, the CASOAR allows the deformations of a wave front to be measured rapidly (100 Hz) and with accuracy (1 deg). The CASOAR is an active system: it includes its own light source (CW CO2 laser), making it self-contained, self-aligned and insensitive to spurious light rays. After being reflected off a mirror located beyond the atmospheric layer to be analyzed (range of several kilometers), the beam is received and detected by coherent mixing. Electronic phase is converted in optical phase and recorded or displayed in real time on a monitor. Experimental results are shown, pointing out the capabilities of this device.