Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper • Open Access • new

A STEM outreach tool for demonstrating the sensing and compensation of atmospheric turbulence

Paper Abstract

The US Air Force (USAF) conducts research involving the sensing and compensation of atmospheric turbulence, which acts to blur images and make laser-beam propagation more challenging. As such, USAF scientists and engineers (S and Es) often face the challenging task of explaining this research to audiences without relevant technical expertise. These audiences vary widely all the way from upper military leadership down to K-12 students as part of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach activities. Previously, a team of USAF S and Es developed a table-top setup for the demonstration of digital-holography (DH) technology. This technology enables the measurement of the complex-optical field, which in turn enables a plethora of applications that involve imaging and wavefront sensing. Therefore, in this paper we extend this table-top setup to illustrate both the effects of atmospheric turbulence on the imaging and wavefront sensing process and the digital-signal processing required to estimate and mitigate these effects. The enhanced demonstration provides a visual-learning aid to help explain the complicated concepts associated with imaging through atmospheric turbulence. Specifically, we show that we can introduce aberrations into the DH system and use digital-image correction to refocus the resultant blurry images. This paper discusses the overall system design, improvements, and lessons learned.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111431H (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2523799
Show Author Affiliations
Casey J. Pellizzari, U.S. Air Force Academy (United States)
Douglas E. Thornton, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Connor Vikupitz, U.S. Air Force Academy (United States)
Matthew Cooper, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Mark F. Spencer, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top