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Proceedings Paper

Optimal sites for optical interferometry
Author(s): Donald L. Walters; Gail M. Vaucher; C. A. Vaucher
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Paper Abstract

It is pointed out that the performance of speckle imaging or optical interferometer systems increases with (r sub 0/D) exp n, where r sub 0 is the atmospheric coherence length, D is the aperture size, and n is between 2 and 4. It has been determined that, since r sub 0 is about 10 cm at visible wavelengths and D may be several meters, selecting a site with a large r sub 0 becomes critical for 30-100-m baseline systems. A unique problem for such optical systems is the need for a relatively large, flat, approximately 100-m site; however, this is inconsistent with the atmospheric dynamics that produce optical sites. Albuquerque and Chilao Flats results indicate that katabatic flows produce r sub 0 values of 30-50 mm; on the other hand, large mountain tops tend to have large 50-200 m inner layers, making r sub 0 extremely sensitive to the surface heat flux and wind speed. It is concluded that few locations can achieve this; those along the California Pacific Coast and Mauna Kea are two such regions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 August 1990
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1237, Amplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry, (1 August 1990);
Show Author Affiliations
Donald L. Walters, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
Gail M. Vaucher, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (United States)
C. A. Vaucher, Universities Space Research Association (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1237:
Amplitude and Intensity Spatial Interferometry
James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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