Abstract

When a laser beam traverses an optically active, turbulent flow field, the laser wave front is aberrated by the flow. Density variations in a heated two-dimensional jet, for example, correspond to index-of-refraction variations, and this modulation of the index in the fluid can imprint an optical phase disturbance, or phase error, onto the laser wave front. Adaptive-optic systems seek to correct the phase error of the wave front, and thus restore the integrity of the far-field irradiance pattern. Given a near-field spatial mapping of a phase disturbance, the far-field irradiance pattern of the affected wave front can be calculated with Fourier-optics techniques. A Fourier-optics computer code was used to study the far-field irradiance patterns arising from actual time-varying measurements of a fluid-induced phase error. The time-averaged Strehl ratio was studied to provide insight into the spatial and temporal design requirements for adaptive-optic systems applied to the time series of near-field spatial phase-error maps.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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