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Proceedings Paper

A new instrument for measuring atmospheric turbulence
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Paper Abstract

The Magdalena Ridge Observatory is a congressionally funded project to deliver a state-of-the-art observatory on the Magdalena Ridge in New Mexico to provide astronomical research, educational and outreach programs to the state. In this paper we report results from one of our undergraduate projects being run at New Mexico Tech. This project focuses on the design and characterization of a novel instrument for sensing the atmospheric flow instabilities related to seeing at the observatory site. The instrument attempts to find the power of turbulence on millisecond time scales by measuring a voltage difference between two active microphones. The principles behind the instrument are explored here and a description of the limitations of the current experimental implementation is given. Initial results from the experiment are presented and compared with simultaneous measurements from a co-located Differential Image Motion Monitor. The instrument is shown to be a valuable and robust tool for monitoring the atmospheric conditions during site testing campaigns, but further data will be needed to confirm the precise nature of the correlation between measurements made with this system and more conventional seeing metrics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550850
Show Author Affiliations
Danny C. Jacobs, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Brett Edwards, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Zak Stelly, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Ivana Gorgievska, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
David J. Westpfahl, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Daniel A. Klinglesmith, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)
Michelle J. Creech-Eakman, Magdalena Ridge Observatory (United States)
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5491:
New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry
Wesley A. Traub, Editor(s)

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