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Proceedings Paper

Modeling atmospheric turbulence effects on a ground-based interferometer
Author(s): Lawrence William Bradford; Stanley M. Flatte; Claire E. Max
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Paper Abstract

Bester et al. report measurements of atmospheric fluctuations made with the Infrared Spatial Interferometer, which indicated behavior not in accord with the standard Kolmogorov model with only a single constant wind velocity. Our numerical simulations use relatively complex models of the atmosphere to investigate both Kolmogorov and non-Kolmogorov models. We find that the measurements of Bester et al. for light passing through the upper atmosphere are within the limits of behavior for Kolmogorov models, but often only if the outer scale of turbulent fluctuations is between 15 to 100 meters. The possibility that the measured behavior might be non-Kolmogorov is not excluded. We also examine measurements made along short paths in the surface boundary layer, where some measurements of Bester et al. showed variations in the atmospheric fluctuations with seeing conditions which appeared to be non-Kolmogorov. These variations can be perhaps be explained by standard models, but require that seeing improve with increasing wind speed in the surface layer. We discuss some other measurements which lend some support to that idea. However, we cannot exclude non-Kolmogorov behavior. We find that meteorological data is needed concurrent with astronomical observations, to help constrain the models. The size of the outer scale, the wind velocity profile and the turbulence spectrum are important to the ultimate capabilities of interferometers and other systems with adaptive optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 1994
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2200, Amplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry II, (9 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.177256
Show Author Affiliations
Lawrence William Bradford, Univ. of California/Santa Cruz (United States)
Stanley M. Flatte, Univ. of California/Santa Cruz (United States)
Claire E. Max, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2200:
Amplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry II
James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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