Abstract

The performance of large optical systems can be strongly influenced by the behavior of large-scale atmospheric turbulence. Previous optical phase difference data diverged from theoretical predictions based on von Kármán’s model. To establish a better model microthermal data over large spatial scales were collected at two sites with few terrain inhomogeneities, in unstable midday conditions. Spatial structure function and spectra are developed. A model spatial spectrum is fit to the data with parameters to set two power law dependencies and the transition rate between them. By working with spatial spectral data the assumption of frozen flow is avoided. The optimum spatial spectrum is Kolmogorov-like in the inertial range. Temporal spectral data compare favorably with the new model, which better describes the transition of turbulence scaling from small scales to large.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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