Abstract

We investigated the joint influences exerted by the nonuniform aerodynamic flow field surrounding the optical dome and the aerodynamic heating of the dome on imaging quality degradation of an airborne optical system. The Spalart–Allmaras model provided by FLUENT was used for flow computations. The fourth-order Runge–Kutta algorithm based ray tracing program was used to simulate optical transmission through the aerodynamic flow field and the dome. Four kinds of imaging quality evaluation parameters were presented: wave aberration of the exit pupil, point spread function, encircled energy, and modulation transfer function. The results show that the aero-optical disturbance of the aerodynamic flow field and the aerodynamic heating of the dome significantly affect the imaging quality of an airborne optical system.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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