Turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere causes the images of distant galaxies, stars and even planets, to twinkle and appear blurred. This blurring limits the precision of astronomical measurements from large telescope on the ground. It is also a problem for several emerging applications involving optical laser propagating through the Earth’s atmosphere to link the ground and space objects, for example laser ranging and imaging of satellites, free-space optical communications (including Quantum Key Distribution), space debris removal via laser ablation acceleration and also remote laser power transfer from the ground to orbiting satellites.
The work in the CfAI includes modelling, measuring and mitigating the effects of the turbulence with sophisticated Adaptive Optics systems. In this seminar I will describe the activities of the group on this theme.