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Wind imaging using simultaneous fringe sampling with field-widened Michelson interferometers

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Abstract

The first, to our knowledge, successful laboratory implementation of an approach to image winds using simultaneous (as opposed to sequential) fringe imaging of suitable isolated spectral emission lines is described. Achieving this in practice has been a long-standing goal for wind imaging using airglow. It avoids the aliasing effects of source irradiance variations that are possible with sequential fringe sampling techniques. Simultaneous fringe imaging is accomplished using a field-widened Michelson interferometer by depositing phase steps on four quadrants of one of the mirrors and designing an optical system so that four images of the scene of interest, each at a different phase, are simultaneously produced. In this paper, the instrument characteristics, its characterization, and the analysis algorithms necessary for use of the technique for this type of interferometer are described for the first time, to the best of our knowledge. The large throughput associated with field-widened Michelson interferometers is sufficient for the spatial resolutions and temporal cadences necessary for ground based imaging of gravity waves in wind and irradiance to be achieved. The practical demonstration of this technique also validates its use for proposed monolithic satellite instruments for wind measurements using airglow on the Earth and Mars.

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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