19 October 2016 Electro-optic testbed utilizing a dynamic range gated Rayleigh beacon for atmospheric turbulence profiling
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Abstract
The Photometry Analysis and Optical Tracking and Evaluation System (PANOPTES) Quad Axis Telescope is a unique four axis mount Ritchey-Chretien 24 inch telescope capable of tracking objects through the zenith without axes rotation delay (no Dead Zone). This paper describes enhancement components added to the quad axis mount telescope that will enable measurements supporting novel research and field testing focused on ‘three-dimensional’ characterization of turbulent atmospheres, mitigation techniques, and new sensing modalities. These all support research and operational techniques relating to astronomical imaging and electro-optical propagation though the atmosphere, relative to sub-meter class telescopes in humid, continental environments. This effort will use custom designed and commercial off the shelf hardware; sub-system components discussed will include a wavefront sensor system, a co-aligned beam launch system, and a fiber coupled research laser. The wavefront sensing system has the ability to take measurements from a dynamic altitude adjustable laser beacon scattering spot, a key concept that enables rapid turbulence structure parameter measurements over an altitude varied integrated atmospheric volume. The sub-components are integrated with the overall goal of measuring a height-resolved volumetric profile for the atmospheric turbulence structure parameter at the site, and developing mobile techniques for such measurements. The design concept, part selection optimization, baseline component lab testing, and initial field measurements, will be discussed in the main sections of this paper. This project is a collaborative effort between the Air Force Research Labs Sensors Directorate and the Air Force Institute of Technology Center for Directed Energy.
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Steven M. Zuraski, Steven M. Zuraski, Steven T. Fiorino, Steven T. Fiorino, Elizabeth A. Beecher, Elizabeth A. Beecher, Nathan M. Figlewski, Nathan M. Figlewski, Jason D. Schmidt, Jason D. Schmidt, Jack E. McCrae, Jack E. McCrae, } "Electro-optic testbed utilizing a dynamic range gated Rayleigh beacon for atmospheric turbulence profiling", Proc. SPIE 10002, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XIX, 1000207 (19 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2240980; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2240980
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