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Proceedings Paper

Measurements of optical underwater turbulence under controlled conditions
Author(s): A. V. Kanaev; S. Gladysz; R. Almeida de Sá Barros; S. Matt; G. A. Nootz; D. B. Josset; W. Hou
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Paper Abstract

Laser beam propagation underwater is becoming an important research topic because of high demand for its potential applications. Namely, ability to image underwater at long distances is highly desired for scientific and military purposes, including submarine awareness, diver visibility, and mine detection. Optical communication in the ocean can provide covert data transmission with much higher rates than that available with acoustic techniques, and it is now desired for certain military and scientific applications that involve sending large quantities of data. Unfortunately underwater environment presents serious challenges for propagation of laser beams. Even in clean ocean water, the extinction due to absorption and scattering theoretically limit the useful range to few attenuation lengths. However, extending the laser light propagation range to the theoretical limit leads to significant beam distortions due to optical underwater turbulence. Experiments show that the magnitude of the distortions that are caused by water temperature and salinity fluctuations can significantly exceed the magnitude of the beam distortions due to atmospheric turbulence even for relatively short propagation distances. We are presenting direct measurements of optical underwater turbulence in controlled conditions of laboratory water tank using two separate techniques involving wavefront sensor and LED array. These independent approaches will enable development of underwater turbulence power spectrum model based directly on the spatial domain measurements and will lead to accurate predictions of underwater beam propagation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2016
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9827, Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VIII, 982705 (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2230256
Show Author Affiliations
A. V. Kanaev, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
S. Gladysz, Fraunhofer-Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung (Germany)
R. Almeida de Sá Barros, Fraunhofer-Institut für Optronik, Systemtechnik und Bildauswertung (Germany)
S. Matt, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
G. A. Nootz, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
D. B. Josset, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
W. Hou, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9827:
Ocean Sensing and Monitoring VIII
Weilin W. Hou; Robert A. Arnone, Editor(s)

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