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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 11, Iss. 1 — Jan. 1, 1994
  • pp: 263–276

Atmospheric-turbulence compensation by resonant optical backscattering from the sodium layer in the upper atmosphere

W. Happer, G. J. MacDonald, C. E. Max, and F. J. Dyson  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 11, Issue 1, pp. 263-276 (1994)

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A new concept is described for creating artificial beacons for atmospheric-turbulence compensation. A laser tuned to the sodium D2 line is used to excite resonant optical backscattering from the sodium layer in the upper atmosphere. The performance of such a system is compared with that expected from artificial beacons based on Rayleigh scattering in the lower atmosphere. It is found that sodium scattering has a more favorable scaling to large-aperture systems. Applications to the compensation of ground-based astronomical telescopes for atmospheric turbulence are described.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: November 12, 1992
Revised Manuscript: May 3, 1993
Manuscript Accepted: May 4, 1993
Published: January 1, 1994

W. Happer, G. J. MacDonald, C. E. Max, and F. J. Dyson, "Atmospheric-turbulence compensation by resonant optical backscattering from the sodium layer in the upper atmosphere," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 11, 263-276 (1994)

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