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Proceedings Paper

Implication of atmospheric models on adaptive optics designs
Author(s): Leonard John Otten; Demos T. Kyrazis; David W. Tyler; Nancy A. Miller
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Paper Abstract

Over the last several years the practical implementation of adaptive optics to compensate for the atmospheric distortions in large telescopes has become a reality. Of the elements that must be considered in the design of an adaptive optics system, the expected atmospheric turbulence is one of the most important. The usual method for estimating these criteria is to use standard atmospheric models or site specific adaptations of these models. An implicit assumption in these models is that the atmosphere can be treated as an isotropic mass and that the index of refraction variations follow Kolmogorov theory. An analysis of two of these features, smoothed data vice a set of individual turbulence profiles and the influence of a partially non-Kolmogorov atmosphere, was performed for a large adaptive optics system. The results show that performance expectations can vary significantly. Smoothed data tends to over estimate atmospheric effects up to 50%. Non-Kolmogorov effects are less significant introducing differences on the order of 10% for zenith observations. The conclusion is that the designer must pay careful attention to the atmospheric model and the method in which it is employed. The use of multiple phase screens created directly from sonde data are recommended.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 May 1994
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2201, Adaptive Optics in Astronomy, (31 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176052
Show Author Affiliations
Leonard John Otten, Kestrel Corp. (United States)
Demos T. Kyrazis, R3, Inc. (United States)
David W. Tyler, Rockwell Power Systems (United States)
Nancy A. Miller, Air Force Phillips Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2201:
Adaptive Optics in Astronomy
Mark A. Ealey; Fritz Merkle, Editor(s)

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