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4 September 2015 Blob identification algorithms applied to laser speckle to characterize optical turbulence
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Abstract
Laser beam speckle resulting from atmospheric turbulence contains information about the propagation channel. The number and size of the speckle cells can be used to infer the spatial coherence and thus the Cn2 along a path. The challenge with this technique is the rapidly evolving speckle pattern and non-uniformity of the speckle cells. In this paper we investigate modern blob counting techniques used in biology, microscopy, and medical imaging. These methods are then applied to turbulent speckle images to estimate the number and size of the speckle cells. Speckle theory is reviewed for different beam types and different regimes of turbulence. Algorithms are generated to calculate path Cn2 from speckle information and path geometry. The algorithms are tested on speckle images from experimental data collected over a turbulent 1km path and compared to Cn2 measurements collected in parallel.
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Galen D. Cauble and David T. Wayne "Blob identification algorithms applied to laser speckle to characterize optical turbulence", Proc. SPIE 9614, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans IV, 961403 (4 September 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2189108
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