Abstract

We propose a method for separating the contribution of atmospheric turbulence layers at different elevations above a telescope. To sample this volume, we create a periodic fringe pattern in the sodium layer, then image it with an extended Hartmann sensor at many viewing angles. Low-layer turbulence causes overall shift of the fringe pattern in each lenslet, and high-altitude turbulence results in internal deformations in the imaged patterns. Parallel Fourier analysis allows separation of the atmospheric layers. Two mirrors, one conjugate to a ground layer and the other to a single high-altitude layer, are shown to widen the field of view significantly to tens of arcseconds and more. The feasibility of this method is analyzed regarding energy requirements, computational costs, camera size, and other parameters. Extensive error analysis and imaging simulations are presented.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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