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Proceedings Paper

Emulating bulk turbulence with a liquid-crystal spatial light modulator
Author(s): Jason D. Schmidt; Matthew E. Goda; Bradley D. Duncan
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Paper Abstract

We have developed a novel system that emulates the optical effects of bulk atmospheric turbulence in a dynamic, repeatable, and accurate way without moving parts. Such turbulence-emulating systems (TES) are necessary for testing laser systems including laser weapons, free-space optical communications, and atmospheric imaging systems. Most current TESs utilize the layered turbulence model with static phase plates or diffractive optics acting as the turbulent layers. Until now, the only way to emulate bulk turbulence in a laboratory has been by creating real turbulence with a heating element and a fan contained in a miniature wind tunnel. In contrast, the TES that we developed uses phase retrieval-based wavefront control to shape a laser beam into a turbulence-distorted beam. Several important properties of the measured irradiance patterns have shown good agreement with the theoretical expectations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 August 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6306, Advanced Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications IV, 63060O (29 August 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.680976
Show Author Affiliations
Jason D. Schmidt, Univ. of Dayton (United States)
Matthew E. Goda, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Bradley D. Duncan, Univ. of Dayton (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6306:
Advanced Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications IV
Michael K. Giles; John D. Gonglewski; Richard A. Carreras, Editor(s)

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