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Proceedings Paper

Stellar-Scintillation Measurement Of The Vertical Profile Of Refractive-Index Turbulence In The Atmosphere
Author(s): G. R. Ochs; R. S. Lawrence; T. Wang
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Paper Abstract

We observe the turbulence-induced scintillation (twinkling) of a single star to measure, from the ground, the vertical profile of refractive-index turbulence in the atmosphere. A linear combination, with appropriate weights, of the strength of the scintillations observed with receivers of various spatial wavelengths allows us to synthesize a path weighting function centered at a specific height. The central height and height resolution of the measurement can be controlled by changing the relative coefficients and spatial wavelengths of the receiver outputs. Twenty-minute measurements, made with stars of second magnitude or brighter and with a 36-cm Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, show that the atmospheric turbulence can be divided into four independent height regions with reasonable accuracy. The measurements of the different spatial wavelengths are made sequentially with the same telescope, and the statistical stationarity of the atmosphere during the 20-minute observation period is crucial to the accuracy of the deduced profile. Stationarity is roughly checked by continuously monitoring the whole-aperture scintillation of the star. The observed profiles agree with the strength and general shape of accepted models of the atmosphere and with profiles obtained from aircraft-mounted and previously used balloon-borne in-situ sensors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1976
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 0075, Imaging Through the Atmosphere, (19 July 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.954737
Show Author Affiliations
G. R. Ochs, Environmental Research Laboratories (United States)
R. S. Lawrence, Environmental Research Laboratories (United States)
T. Wang, Environmental Research Laboratories (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0075:
Imaging Through the Atmosphere
James C. Wyant, Editor(s)

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