Predicting imaging performance in turbulence


Estimates of the performance of an imager working in a turbulent atmosphere can often be obtained if an estimate of the index of refraction structure constant (C n2) is available. In this paper, results from predictive parametric models for C n2 are compared with long-term measurements of (C n2). A brief overview of imaging in turbulence is given. The impact of turbulence on imager performance and models to account for it are reviewed. This is followed by a presentation of the methods used to collect C(C n2) data. Some published parametric models for predicting C(C n2) based on meteorological data are reviewed. These models are then compared with C(C n2) measurements taken over several years. Performance of the models as a function of time of day and season of year are shown. General conclusions regarding the utility of using these models to predict system performance are presented.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering