25 September 2007 Turbulence inner scale sensor for arbitrary atmospheric paths
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Abstract
Turbulence inner scale affects scintillation in laser projection and laser communication systems especially in strong scintillation regime. Analytical and numerical models are used for performance analysis and design of these systems. Turbulence inner scale is critically important to anchor theoretical predictions to an experiment. However, the inner scale is usually not measured in the experiments along extended atmospheric paths. Commercial scintillometer commonly operates over the range of a few hundreds meters and requires an optical transmitter and receiver at different ends of the propagation path. We introduced a concept for turbulence inner scale sensor, which is based on phase related phenomenon and can operate along arbitrary atmospheric paths including the strong scintillation regime both during daytime and nighttime. We evaluated the feasibility of this approach. We developed an analytical model for a tilt-corrected point spread function (PSF) of a distant source that enables turbulence inner scale sensor determination from optical measurements, evaluated the PSF sensitivity to the inner scale variations for ground-to-ground and space-to-ground engagement scenarios, designed and built a sensor breadboard prototype Finally, for the first time we performed turbulence inner scale measurements along space-to-ground propagation paths by imaging stars. We found that the turbulence inner scale on space-to-ground paths is in the range from 1 cm to 3 cm, whereas it is in the range from 0.2 cm to 1.2 cm near the ground. Thus, initial inner scale measurements by imaging stars revealed that turbulence inner scale on extended elevated paths exceeds that value near the ground.
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Mikhail S. Belen'kii, Don Bruns, Kevin Hughes, Laura Moyer, Vincent Rye, Larry Wright, "Turbulence inner scale sensor for arbitrary atmospheric paths", Proc. SPIE 6709, Free-Space Laser Communications VII, 67090J (25 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.732675; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.732675
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