First evidence of the finite horizontal extent of the optical turbulence layers. Implications for new adaptive optics techniques
Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70-264, 04510, D.F. México
2 Instituto de Astronomía (Campus Morelia), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 72-3, 58089 Morelia Michoacan, México
Corresponding author: E. Masciadri, email@example.com
Accepted: 7 November 2001
It was recently shown (Masciadri et al. [CITE]; Masciadri [CITE]), using a numerical simulation (Meso-Nh model), that considering horizontally uniform can have severe consequences. For example, the integration of the along lines of sight different from the zenith gives variations that can be larger than 0.50″. In this paper we try to validate this result following two approaches. (a) numerical approach: we compare measured and simulated profiles. The first ones were obtained with a Generalized Scidar (GS) and the latter are simulated with the Meso-Nh model at the same azimuth and elevation as those of the observations. Further measurements (DIMM, mast and balloons) are considered in order to support the comparison. (b) experimental approach: we compare profiles measured (almost simultaneously) by a GS along different lines of sight. The results of this study show that (1) the horizontal size of the turbulent layers can be finite, (2) the simulations and the measurements are well correlated and (3) for the first time, we show that the model can reproduce observed seeing values that vary as much as 0.50″ during the same night. This definitely shows that the numerical simulations are a useful tool in the context of the turbulence characterization for astronomical applications. Finally, we discuss the implications that a finite horizontal size of the turbulent layers could have on new adaptive optics techniques, particularly in applications to the extremely large size telescopes.
Key words: atmospheric effects / methods: numerical / site testing / techniques: interferometric
© ESO, 2002