4 May 2010 Visualizing aero-optic interactions about a nose-mounted turret
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One aspect of the propagation-physics challenge associated with airborne, free-space, optical communications (FSOC), for example, is the characterization and mitigation of link losses due to aero-optic interactions. That is, air-density gradients due to compressibility effects in turbulent boundary layers, separated flows, and freeshear flows can disturb the wavefront in the near field of the transceiver. To better understand these aero-optical mechanisms, a model of a nose-mounted, FSOC transceiver recently was placed in a compressible-flow wind tunnel, and the resulting wavefront degradations, as a function of flow scenario, were recorded. High-speed, time-resolved movies of the aero-optic disturbances have been realized, using a Schlieren-imaging technique, and a very-highframe-rate camera. Discrete, vortical structures (amid otherwise-irregular shedding) were seen to emerge and convect past the clear aperture. The frequencies of these disturbances have been estimated from the movies, and these have been compared with high-speed, time-resolved wavefront reconstructions. Losses of -3.5 dB (for the case of Mach - 0.45 at 10 kft, side view, and λ - 1.55 μm, for example), and disturbance frequencies of - 1200 Hz (and higher) were observed. The system-level impact of the resulting wavefront degradations will be discussed.
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James M. Cicchiello, James M. Cicchiello, Scott Harris, Scott Harris, Curt A. Prudden, Curt A. Prudden, James Neiswender, James Neiswender, David W. Bope, David W. Bope, Curtis J. Harkrider, Curtis J. Harkrider, Thomas G. Moore, Thomas G. Moore, Brian Stadler, Brian Stadler, Larry Stotts, Larry Stotts, } "Visualizing aero-optic interactions about a nose-mounted turret", Proc. SPIE 7685, Atmospheric Propagation VII, 76850C (4 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.850895; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.850895

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