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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Integrated MASS/DIMM Monitor Based on a Low-Noise CCD Detector

  • Author(s): Guesalaga, Andres
  • Osborne, James
  • Sarazin, Marco
  • Neichel, Benoit
  • Perera, Saavidra
  • Wilson, Richard
  • Wizinowich, Peter
  • et al.


We propose a novel design for a turbulence profiler. Using a single detector, images of the pupil (scintillation) and stars (image motion) are formed in the detector plane. The instrument is called FASS (Full Aperture Scintillation Sensor), as it uses the full aperture of the telescope. Different processing strategies are evaluated, including spatial segmentation and Fourier analysis. The different approaches are tested via simulation and on-sky data from two telescopes and compared to profiles obtained with the Durham Stereo-SCIDAR monitor. Overall, simulations shows that the method is more accurate that the classical MASS configuration, but it is shown that the photon noise plays an important role in the accuracy of the method, imposing stringent requirements on the pixel size, which must be significantly smaller than the speckle size formed from turbulence close to the ground (Fresnel law for speckle size).

Encouraging results have been obtained for on-sky data and compared to contemporaneous profiles obtained with a Stereo-Scidar technique.

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