|Abstract||The Starfire Atmospheric Monitor (SAM) has been designed to support optical experiments at the Air Force Research Lab’s (AFRL) Starfire Optical Range (SOR). Using an off-the-shelf telescope, camera, and mount with a custom optical relay package and lenslet array, SAM images stars and is, essentially a 20 X 20 subaperture wavefront sensor. From the images, SAM can be used to determine several aspects of atmospheric seeing from Fried’s coherence length, r0, the Greenwood frequency, the Rytov number, the distribution of wind velocities aloft, and potentially the vertical distribution of the index of refraction structure constant, Cn2(z).
One of the virtues of using a wave front sensor instead of, for example, a DIMS, is that hightr order statistics of the seeing can be calculated instantaneously; these statistics in turn should enable more detailed predictions of adaptive optics performance.
Riding alongside SAM, on the same mount, is an acquisition sensor which will be used for estimation of atmospheric transmission using the AFRL Absolute Radiometric Code (ARC) and for an MTF estimation of r0. This paper focuses on the design and implementation of SAM and presents preliminary results.