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Proceedings Paper

Optics equations for aero-optical analysis
Author(s): George W. Sutton; John E. Pond
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Paper Abstract

Aero-optical effects occur around moving air vehicles and impact passive imaging or active systems. The air flow around the vehicle is compressed, and often there is a turbulent shear and/or boundary layer both of which cause variations in the index of refraction. Examples of these are reconnaissance aircraft, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Optics (SOFIA), and optically homing hypersonic interceptors. In other applications, a laser beam can be formed within the vehicle, and projected outward and focused on an object. These include the Airborne Laser Laboratory, Airborne Laser and the Airborne Tactical Laser. There are many compressible fluid mechanics computer programs that can predict the air density distribution of the surrounding flow field including density fluctuations in turbulent shear and/or boundary layers. It is necessary for the physical optics to be used to predict the properties of the ensuing image plane intensity distribution, whether passive or active. These include the time-averaged image blur circle and instantaneous realizations. (Ray tracing is a poor approximation that gives erroneous results for small aberrations.)

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 July 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8001, International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, 80012A (26 July 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.890265
Show Author Affiliations
George W. Sutton, Cobham Analytic Solutions/Sparta (United States)
John E. Pond, Analysis and Applications, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8001:
International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
Manuel Filipe Costa, Editor(s)

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