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Line-of-sight optical Dome Turbulence Monitor

Osborn, James; Alaluf, David

Line-of-sight optical Dome Turbulence Monitor Thumbnail


David Alaluf


Optical turbulence in the enclosure of a ground-based telescope can be a major contributor to the total optical turbulence strength and can therefore limit the precision of astronomical observations, in terms of angular resolution, or signal to noise ratio, depending on the instrumentation used. Here we propose a new Dome Turbulence Monitor (DTM) technique. This DTM is based on the well known Scintillation Detection And Ranging (SCIDAR) concept with a few major differences. By designing the instrument specifically for the dome turbulence, we can use a small (<0.2 m telescope), and observe single bright stars (as opposed to the SCIDAR using double stars). This enables a dedicated instrument with enough targets to operate continuously. Operationally, the DTM could be mounted somewhere on the main astronomical telescope and track stars that are visible through the dome aperture. By measuring through the dome aperture we obtain an optical measure of the strength of the turbulence along a similar line of sight as the main telescope itself. We demonstrate the new technique through numerical Monte Carlo modelling and present results from a proof-of-concept demonstration at the European Space Agency Optical Ground Station on Tenerife, Spain.


Osborn, J., & Alaluf, D. (2023). Line-of-sight optical Dome Turbulence Monitor. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 525(2), 1936-1940.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2023
Online Publication Date Aug 17, 2023
Publication Date Aug 21, 2023
Deposit Date Aug 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 30, 2023
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 525
Issue 2
Pages 1936-1940
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Published Journal Article (915 Kb)


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Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

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