Journal Article

LOLAS: an optical turbulence profiler in the atmospheric boundary layer with extreme altitude resolution

R. Avila, J. L. Avilés, R. W. Wilson, M. Chun, T. Butterley and E. Carrasco

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 387, issue 4, pages 1511-1516
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13386.x
LOLAS: an optical turbulence profiler in the atmospheric boundary layer with extreme altitude resolution

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We report the development and first results of an instrument called Low Layer SCIDAR (Scintillation Detection and Ranging) (LOLAS) which is aimed at the measurement of optical-turbulence profiles in the atmospheric boundary layer with high altitude resolution. The method is based on the Generalized SCIDAR (GS) concept, but unlike the GS instruments which need a 1-m or larger telescope, LOLAS is implemented on a dedicated 40-cm telescope, making it an independent instrument. The system is designed for widely separated double-star targets, which enables the high altitude resolution. Using a 200-arcsec-separation double star, we have obtained turbulence profiles with unprecedented 12-m resolution. The system incorporates necessary novel algorithms for autoguiding, autofocus and image stabilization. The results presented here were obtained at Mauna Kea Observatory. They show LOLAS capabilities but cannot be considered as representative of the site. A forthcoming paper will be devoted to the site characterization. The instrument was built as part of the Ground Layer Turbulence Monitoring Campaign on Mauna Kea for Gemini Observatory.

Keywords: turbulence; atmospheric effects; instrumentation: adaptive optics; instrumentation: high angular resolution; site testing

Journal Article.  4431 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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