Abstract

The limitations imposed by a turbulent atmosphere on photography of a planetary surface from a vehicle at high altitudes are considered. The atmosphere initially considered is that of the earth, since data are available on its characteristics. The correlation between modulation transfer function, minimum detectable element, and experimentally measured stellar scintillation indicates that the limiting resolution should be on the order of a few centimeters on earth. This is considerably lower than resolutions previously predicted from assumed atmospheric characteristics. The difference may arise from the fact that experimentally measured wind shears over thin atmospheric layers are greater than the values previously assumed. The standard deviation of length of the minimum detectable element is about ⅓ of its mean value, and does not appear to be a strong function of the time of year or location. The minimum detectable length on Mars is so small that it will probably never limit photographic reconnaissance of that planet.

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References

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  1. V. I. Tatarski, Wave Propagation in a Turbulent Medium (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1961).
  2. A. H. Kolmogoroff, Dokl. Akad. Nauk, SSSR, 32, 16 (1941).
  3. A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).
  4. R. E. Hufnagel and H. R. Stanley J. Opt. Suc. Am. 54, 52 (1964).
  5. E. Djurle and A. Bäck, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1029 (1961).
  6. D. L. Fried, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1380 (1966).
  7. F. Nettelblad, Lund. Medd. 2, 130 (1953).
  8. W. M. Protheroe, Contrib. Perkins Obs. Ser. II, 4, 127 (1955).
  9. A. M. Demidova, Izestika Glavnoy Astron. Obs. 21, 2 (1960).
  10. A referee has pointed out that Hufnagel (in Appendix III of Volume 2 of Restoration of Atmospherically Degraded Images, Woods Hole Summer Study, July 1966, published by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences) has revised the curve of CN in Ref. 4. The revision was based on use of scintillation data and the conclusions are in fair agreement with our Fig. 1.

Stanley, H. R.

R. E. Hufnagel and H. R. Stanley J. Opt. Suc. Am. 54, 52 (1964).

Bäck, A.

E. Djurle and A. Bäck, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1029 (1961).

Cain, D. L.

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

Demidova, A. M.

A. M. Demidova, Izestika Glavnoy Astron. Obs. 21, 2 (1960).

Djurle, E.

E. Djurle and A. Bäck, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1029 (1961).

Drake, F. D.

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

Eshelman, V. R.

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

Fieldbo, G.

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

Fried, D. L.

D. L. Fried, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1380 (1966).

Hufnagel, R. E.

R. E. Hufnagel and H. R. Stanley J. Opt. Suc. Am. 54, 52 (1964).

Kliore, A. J.

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

Kolmogoroff, A. H.

A. H. Kolmogoroff, Dokl. Akad. Nauk, SSSR, 32, 16 (1941).

Levy, G. S.

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

Nettelblad, F.

F. Nettelblad, Lund. Medd. 2, 130 (1953).

Protheroe, W. M.

W. M. Protheroe, Contrib. Perkins Obs. Ser. II, 4, 127 (1955).

Tatarski, V. I.

V. I. Tatarski, Wave Propagation in a Turbulent Medium (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1961).

Other (10)

V. I. Tatarski, Wave Propagation in a Turbulent Medium (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1961).

A. H. Kolmogoroff, Dokl. Akad. Nauk, SSSR, 32, 16 (1941).

A. J. Kliore, D. L. Cain, G. S. Levy, V. R. Eshelman, G. Fieldbo, and F. D. Drake, Science 149, 1243 (1965).

R. E. Hufnagel and H. R. Stanley J. Opt. Suc. Am. 54, 52 (1964).

E. Djurle and A. Bäck, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1029 (1961).

D. L. Fried, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1380 (1966).

F. Nettelblad, Lund. Medd. 2, 130 (1953).

W. M. Protheroe, Contrib. Perkins Obs. Ser. II, 4, 127 (1955).

A. M. Demidova, Izestika Glavnoy Astron. Obs. 21, 2 (1960).

A referee has pointed out that Hufnagel (in Appendix III of Volume 2 of Restoration of Atmospherically Degraded Images, Woods Hole Summer Study, July 1966, published by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences) has revised the curve of CN in Ref. 4. The revision was based on use of scintillation data and the conclusions are in fair agreement with our Fig. 1.

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