South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
BURGER, Liesl; LITVIN, Igor A. and FORBES, Andrew. Simulating atmospheric turbulence using a phase-only spatial light modulator. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2008, vol.104, n.3-4, pp. 129-134. ISSN 1996-7489.
Demonstration of the effect of atmospheric turbulence on the propagation of laser beams is traditionally a difficult task. This is due to the complexities of long-distance measurements and the scarcity of suitable laser wavelengths in atmospheric transmission windows. We demonstrate the simulation of atmospheric turbulence in the laboratory using a phase-only spatial light modulator. We illustrate the advantages of this approach, as well as some of the limitations, when using spatial light modulators for this application. We show experimental results demonstrating these limitations, and discuss the impact they have on the simulation of various turbulence strengths.