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Proceedings Paper

Intelligent correction of laser beam propagation through turbulent media using adaptive optics
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Paper Abstract

Adaptive optics methods have long been used by researchers in the astronomy field to retrieve correct images of celestial bodies. The approach is to use a deformable mirror combined with Shack-Hartmann sensors to correct the slightly distorted image when it propagates through the earth’s atmospheric boundary layer, which can be viewed as adding relatively weak distortion in the last stage of propagation. However, the same strategy can’t be easily applied to correct images propagating along a horizontal deep turbulence path. In fact, when turbulence levels becomes very strong (Cn 2>10-13 m-2/3), limited improvements have been made in correcting the heavily distorted images. We propose a method that reconstructs the light field that reaches the camera, which then provides information for controlling a deformable mirror. An intelligent algorithm is applied that provides significant improvement in correcting images. In our work, the light field reconstruction has been achieved with a newly designed modified plenoptic camera. As a result, by actively intervening with the coherent illumination beam, or by giving it various specific pre-distortions, a better (less turbulence affected) image can be obtained. This strategy can also be expanded to much more general applications such as correcting laser propagation through random media and can also help to improve designs in free space optical communication systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 October 2014
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 9224, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans III, 92240E (7 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2062951
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Ko, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Chensheng Wu, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)
Christopher C. Davis, Univ. of Maryland, College Park (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9224:
Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans III
Alexander M. J. van Eijk; Christopher C. Davis; Stephen M. Hammel, Editor(s)

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