Deep Horizontal Atmospheric Turbulence Modeling with a Liquid Crystal Spatial Light Modulator
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We investigate the performance of a Liquid Crystal (LC) Spatial Light Modulator (SLM) as an optical device for generating high intensity atmospheric turbulence in the laboratory. The experimental setup represents long range horizontal beam propagation at a low altitude where the conditions of atmospheric turbulence can be most severe. WaveProp is a software package written by the Optical Sciences Company (tOSC) which is used for simulating electro-magnetic field propagation through equally spaced phase screens. This simulation tool provides the cumulative amplitude and phase modulation input signals to a single LC SLM. An SLM is configured at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Adaptive Optics Center of Excellence to modulate both amplitude and phase simultaneously. The SLM reproduces large amplitude fluctuation with branch points and branch forks from the deep turbulence models. Deep horizontal path laser propagation reported herein is modeled and simulated in the NPS laboratory to provide realistic optical disturbances for an adaptive optics wavefront correction system.