Inhomogeneities in the refractive index induced by temperature fluctuations in turbulent flows have the effect of scattering light in near-forward angles. We have developed a method that extracts the rate of Temperature Variance Dissipation (TVD) and its spectrum from the properties of light scattering and have built an instrument - Optical Turbulence Sensor (OTS) - that implements the method. OTS uses a linear wavefront sensing Hartmann array and allows for nearly instantaneous measurements of temperature variance in turbulent flows. The instrument has been tested in an situ experiment carried out from a drifting vessel at a site off the coast of Newport, Oregon. Here we compare the temperature variance measured by OTS and its spectra with both theoretical predictions and with spectra obtained from a fast thermistor sensor.
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