Dual-beam atmospheric turbulence measurement system performance as a high-altitude turbulance scale size sensor

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Measurement of atmospheric turbulence progressed though several stages in the last decades but has of recent seen little advance. Uses of lidars, ground based radar and intrusive techniques have all had limitations in their ability to measure the more fundamental atmospheric properties. Be it poor spatial or temporal resolution, difficulty in maintaining the sensor, or the requirement to use a preconceived atmospheric model, all have had shortcomings. Of the several physical atmospheric properties that can be quantified, the inner and outer scale sizes associated with the index of refraction, and hence the other atmospheric properties, are of high interest in the prediction of the performance of various adaptive optical sensors. In this paper, we will discuss a method based on a thin beam optical system to measure the inner and outer scales size that overcomes some of the limitations and assumptions in previous techniques. Based on research originally conducted at the University of Florence, we have extended the theory to optically thin layers that can account for real world design effects. Using this theory the paper will discuss the feasibility of using the technique to measure turbulence scale sizes in the upper atmosphere. Data from laboratory measurements will be shown.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering