Optical turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer


Turbulent temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere cause turbulent fluctuations of the phase, the propagation direction, and the amplitude of an optical wave propagating through the atmosphere. These fluctuations, collectively referred to as ‘optical turbulence,’ are the reason for the twinkling and quivering of stars, and they limit the resolution of large astronomical telescopes as well as the performance of free-space optical communication systems and directed-energy systems. On the other hand, optical turbulence is the basis for some atmospheric remote sensors, such as optical scintillometers.

In this talk, we briefly review the basic physics of optical turbulence, and we present and discuss field observations and computer simulations of optical turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer.

Jan 24, 2017 3:30 PM — 4:30 PM
Bechtel Collaboratory, Discovery Learning Center
Engineering Center, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309

NorthWest Research Associates