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Optical path difference of the supersonic mixing layer

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Abstract

The distorted wavefront due to the density fluctuation of the supersonic mixing layer is measured by the nano-based planar laser scattering technique, with the spatiotemporal resolutions as 101mm and 1μs (time interval between two exposures), respectively. The optical path difference (OPD) is analyzed from the viewpoints of correlation and structure functions. Depending on the structure of the flow field, the type of the correlation function is Gaussian or exponential. The power index of the structure function is about 1.1, and the consistency over many cases is quite good. The far-field propagation of the Gaussian beam is simulated by Fourier transform, and the Strehl ratio is calculated with the rms of the OPD. The beam center and beam spread about the center in the far field are calculated, and are dominated by the statistics of the tilt of the distorted wavefront. The results indicate that aero-optical aberrations can severely limit the performance of airborne laser systems.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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