Abstract

We propose an optical technique that allows us to estimate the inner scale by measuring the variance of angle of arrival fluctuations of collimated laser beams of different sections wi passing through a turbulent layer. To test the potential efficiency of the system, we made measurements on a turbulent air flow generated in the laboratory, the statistical properties of which are known and controlled, unlike atmospheric turbulence. We deduced a Kolmogorov behavior with a 6-mm inner scale and a 90-mm outer scale in accordance with measurements by a more complicated technique using the same turbulent channel. Our proposed method is especially sensitive to inner-scale measurement and can be adapted easily to atmospheric turbulence analysis. We propose an outdoor experimental setup that should work in less controlled conditions that can affect astronomical observations. The inner-scale assessment might be important when phase retrieval with Laplacian methods is used for adaptive optics purposes.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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