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Title: Turbulence characterisation for astronomical observatories
Author: Shepherd, Harry William
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 4389
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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Atmospheric turbulence has two effects in astronomy; (i) the broadening of the point spread function due to phase fluctuations limiting the resolution of imaging and (ii) producing intensity fluctuations known as scintillation. Adaptive Optics (AO) can be installed on telescopes to correct for the effect of phase, and with the push to large telescopes more complex AO systems such as Multi Conjugate AO (MCAO) and Multi Object AO (MOAO) are desired. Operation of these systems requires a detailed profile of the turbulent atmosphere in real time. In this thesis we consider two turbulence profilers, SLOpe Detection And Ranging (SLODAR) and SCIntillation Detection and Ranging (SCIDAR), two cross beam profilers that retrieve data using covariance of phase variations (SLODAR) and intensity variations (SCIDAR). We present a modification of SLODAR to allow an estimate for non resolved turbulence to be made by considering scintillation in the subapertures of a Shack Hartmann wavefront sensor. A new SCIDAR (Stereo--SCIDAR) is described, allowing dynamic re--conjugation to improve altitude resolution. Practical considerations for the implementation of a SLODAR instrument are considered, including a discussion of potential false measurements of non Kolmogorov power spectra in the ground and surface layers of turbulence. Data is presented from SLODAR observing campaigns on La Palma, and at Paranal. Evidence is presented for orographic effects on measured turbulence, including those due to man made structures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available