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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 13 — Jun. 22, 2009
  • pp: 10926–10938

On the normalization of scintillation autocovariance for generalized SCIDAR

Remy Avila and Salvador Cuevas  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 13, pp. 10926-10938 (2009)

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The Generalized SCIDAR (Scintillation Detection and Ranging) technique consists in the computation of the mean autocorrelation of double-star scintillation images taken on a virtual plane located a few kilometers below the telescope pupil. This autocorrelation is normalized by the autocorrelation of the mean image. Johnston et al. in 2002 [1] pointed out that this normalization leads to an inexact estimate of the optical-turbulence strength C2N. Those authors restricted their analysis to turbulence at ground level. Here we generalize that study by calculating analytically the error induced by that normalization, for a turbulent layer at any altitude. An exact expression is given for any telescope–pupil shape and an approximate simple formula is provided for a full circular pupil. We show that the effect of the inexact normalization is to overestimate the C2 N values. The error is larger for higher turbulent layers, smaller telescopes, longer distances of the analysis plane from the pupil, wider double-star separations, and larger differences of stellar magnitudes. Depending on the observational parameters and the turbulence altitude, the relative error can take values from zero up to a factor of 4, in which case the real C2 N value is only 0.2 times the erroneous one. Our results can be applied to correct the C2 N profiles that have been measured using the Generalized SCIDAR technique.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(070.0070) Fourier optics and signal processing : Fourier optics and signal processing
(280.7060) Remote sensing and sensors : Turbulence
(290.5930) Scattering : Scintillation

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: April 15, 2009
Revised Manuscript: May 20, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: June 9, 2009
Published: June 16, 2009

Remy Avila and Salvador Cuevas, "On the normalization of scintillation autocovariance for generalized SCIDAR," Opt. Express 17, 10926-10938 (2009)

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