27 July 2016 AIR FLOW: airborne interferometric recombiner fluctuations of light at optical wavelengths
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The local turbulence is the only part of the seeing degradation that we can actively improve and reduce at the source. It is often a major contribution to the overall seeing1,2 and introduces effects that are highly localized and may be difficult to correct. For example, dome seeing is expected to be non-Kolmogorov, with a very small outer scale leading to a preponderance of high spatial frequencies. The first step in controlling the local seeing is to locate and quantify the turbulence present. This requires the development of a new type of sensor, specifically designed to sensitively measure local optical turbulence. We are in the process of developing such a sensor, based on a simple Mach-Zehnder interferometer layout. The sensor will be light and ruggedized so that it can be used to map out the turbulence inside the dome of any telescope, inside the telescope tube and even around the dome building. Eventually, such a sensor may be used to quantitatively and actively control dome vents.
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Olivier Lai, Olivier Lai, Mark R. Chun, Mark R. Chun, Kanoa Withington, Kanoa Withington, "AIR FLOW: airborne interferometric recombiner fluctuations of light at optical wavelengths", Proc. SPIE 9909, Adaptive Optics Systems V, 99093H (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233833; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233833

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