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Paper: Atmospheric Fluctuation Measurements with the Palomar Testbed Interferometer
Volume: 194, Working on the Fringe: Optical and IR Interferometry from Ground and Space
Page: 297
Authors: Linfield, R. P.; Lane, B. F.; Colavita, M. M.; The PTI Collaboration
Abstract: Observations of bright stars with the Palomar Testbed Interferometer, at a wavelength of 2.2 microns, have been used to measure atmospheric delay fluctuations. The delay structure function Dτ(Δ t) was calculated for 66 scans (each >= 120s in length) on seven nights in 1997 and one in 1998. For all except one scan, Dτ exhibited a clean power law shape over the time interval 50-500 msec. Over shorter time intervals, the effect of the delay line servo loop corrupts Dτ. Over longer time intervals (usually starting at > 1s), the slope of Dτ decreases, presumably due to some combination of saturation e.g. finite turbulent layer thickness) and the effect of the finite wind speed crossing time on our 110 m baseline. The mean power law slopes for the eight nights ranged from 1.16 to 1.36, substantially flatter than the value of 1.67 for three dimensional Kolmogorov turbulence. Such sub-Kolmogorov slopes will result in atmospheric seeling (&thetas;) that improves rapidly with increasing wavelength: &thetas; propto λ1-(2β), where β is the observed power law slope of Dτ. The atmospheric errors in astrometric measurements with an interferometer will average down more quickly than in the Kolmogorov case.
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