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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 2 — Jan. 17, 2011
  • pp: 820–837

Improved models of upper-level wind for several astronomical observatories

Lewis C. Roberts, Jr. and L. William Bradford  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 820-837 (2011)

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An understanding of wind speed and direction as a function of height are critical to the proper modeling of atmospheric turbulence. We have used radiosonde data from launch sites near significant astronomical observatories and created mean profiles of wind speed and direction and have also computed Richardson number profiles. Using data from the last 30 years, we extend the 1977 Greenwood wind profile to include parameters that show seasonal variations and differences in location. The added information from our models is useful for the design of adaptive optics systems and other imaging systems. Our analysis of the Richardson number suggests that persistent turbulent layers may be inferred when low values are present in our long term averaged data. Knowledge of the presence of these layers may help with planning for adaptive optics and laser communications.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: August 2, 2010
Revised Manuscript: September 16, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: September 17, 2010
Published: January 6, 2011

Lewis C. Roberts, Jr. and L. William Bradford, "Improved upper winds models for several astronomical observatories," Opt. Express 19, 820-837 (2011)

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