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12 August 2010SWIR sky glow imaging for detection of turbulence in the upper atmosphere
It is well known that luminance from photo-chemical reactions of hydroxyl ions in the upper atmosphere (~85 km
altitude) produces a significant amount of night time radiation in the short wave infra-red (SWIR) band between
0.9 and 1.7 μm wave length. This has been demonstrated as an effective illumination source for night time imaging
applications. It addition it has been shown that observation of the spatial and temporal variations of the
illumination can be used to characterize atmospheric tidal wave actions in the sky glow region. These spatiotemporal
variations manifest themselves as traveling wave patterns whose period and velocity are related to the
wind velocity at 85 km as well as the turbulence induced by atmospheric vertical instabilities. Ground to space
observation systems especially those employing adaptive optics are adversely affected by high altitude turbulence
and winds. In this paper we propose the use of sky glow observations to predict and characterize image system
degradation due to upper atmosphere turbulence.
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David Dayton, Rudy Nolasco, Jeff Allen, Mike Myers, John Gonglewski, Gregory Fertig, Dennis Burns, Ishan Mons, "SWIR sky glow imaging for detection of turbulence in the upper atmosphere," Proc. SPIE 7816, Advanced Wavefront Control: Methods, Devices, and Applications VIII, 78160K (12 August 2010);