Measurement of surface layer turbulence above AMOS
Mattingly, Timothy Scott
Walters, Donald L.
Davis, David Scott
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Temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere severely limit the angular resolution of earth bound observation facilities to around 1 arcsecond. This corresponds to an effective, coherent, aperture size of 10 cm even though the telescope may have a 2-4 m primary mirror. Understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of atmospheric optical turbulence is essential to maximize the performance of large astronomical telescopes. This thesis made use of a 5 KHz high frequency, short range Doppler acoustic sounder to investigate the first 100 meters of the mountain boundary layer turbulence above the Air Force Maui Observation Site, AMOS, Haleakala, Hi. These measurements were part of a coordinated site evaluation for a proposed 4 m telescope to be built at AMOS in the near future. Tentative results revealed significant layering, 15-20 m and occasionally thicker, in the turbulent surface layers above AMOS. Additionally, a comparison of two proposed construction sites near the top of Haleakala showed that the turbulent surface layer tends to follow the contours of the mountain.
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