Abstract

We investigated the influences exerted by the nonuniform aerodynamic flow field surrounding the optical window on the imaging quality degradation of an airborne optical system. The density distribution of flow fields around three typical optical windows, including a spherical window, an ellipsoidal window, and a paraboloidal window, were calculated by adopting the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equations with the Spalart–Allmaras model provided by FLUENT. The fourth-order Runge–Kutta algorithm based ray-tracing program was used to simulate the optical transmission through the aerodynamic flow field. Four kinds of imaging quality evaluation parameters were presented: wave aberration of the entrance pupil, point spread function, encircled energy, and modulation transfer function. The results show that the imaging quality of the airborne optical system was affected by the shape of the optical window and angle of attack of the aircraft.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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