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18 September 2018 Analysis of optical turbulence evolution over the Space Shuttle Landing Facility
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Abstract
Ground to air temperature gradients drive the creation and evolution of optical turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer. Ground composition is an important factor when observing and measuring the generated optical turbulence. Surface roughness and thermal characteristics influence the formation of optical turbulence eddies. The Space Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at The Kennedy Space Center offers a unique opportunity to measure the generation and evolution of these turbulent eddies, while also providing a temperature gradient “Step Function” after which turbulence evolution can be analyzed. We present the analysis of data collected on the SLF during May of 2018. Mobile towers instrumented with sonic anemometers are used to examine the statistics of turbulent eddies leaving the increased heat gradient of the runway. This data is compared to an optical scintillometer and other local weather station data. Point and path average Cn2 data are calculated and attention is given to turbulence spectrum as a function of height above ground.
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© (2018) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph T. Coffaro, Melissa Beason, Christopher A. Smith, Ronald L. Phillips, Larry C. Andrews, and Robert F. Crabbs "Analysis of optical turbulence evolution over the Space Shuttle Landing Facility", Proc. SPIE 10770, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VII, 107700M (18 September 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2323330
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