Abstract

The problem of high-resolution imaging through long horizontal-path ground-level turbulence has gone unsolved since it was first addressed many decades ago. In this paper I describe a method that shows promise for diffraction-limited imaging through ground-level turbulence with large (meters) apertures and at large (kilometers) distances. The key lies in collecting image data in the spatial frequency domain via the method of Fourier telescopy and taking suitable time averages of the magnitude and phase of the Fourier telescopy signal. The method requires active illumination of the target with laser light, and the time averages required will likely be over many tens of seconds if not tens of minutes or more. The scheme will thus not be suitable for time-varying scenes. The basic scheme is described, and principle challenges briefly discussed.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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