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20 October 2004 A new instrument for measuring atmospheric turbulence
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The Magdalena Ridge Observatory is a congressionally funded project to deliver a state-of-the-art observatory on the Magdalena Ridge in New Mexico to provide astronomical research, educational and outreach programs to the state. In this paper we report results from one of our undergraduate projects being run at New Mexico Tech. This project focuses on the design and characterization of a novel instrument for sensing the atmospheric flow instabilities related to seeing at the observatory site. The instrument attempts to find the power of turbulence on millisecond time scales by measuring a voltage difference between two active microphones. The principles behind the instrument are explored here and a description of the limitations of the current experimental implementation is given. Initial results from the experiment are presented and compared with simultaneous measurements from a co-located Differential Image Motion Monitor. The instrument is shown to be a valuable and robust tool for monitoring the atmospheric conditions during site testing campaigns, but further data will be needed to confirm the precise nature of the correlation between measurements made with this system and more conventional seeing metrics.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Danny C. Jacobs, Brett Edwards, Zak Stelly, Ivana Gorgievska, David J. Westpfahl, Daniel A. Klinglesmith III, and Michelle J. Creech-Eakman "A new instrument for measuring atmospheric turbulence", Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550850;


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