Atmospheric Turbulence Simulation Using Liquid Crystal Spatial Light Modulators

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew Goda, PhD


Laser systems are finding a home in many military applications - such as Space Situational Awareness, imaging and weapons systems. With an increasing focus on programs that entail atmospheric propagations, there is a need for a cost effective method of performing proof-of-concept demonstrations. The use of one SLM (single phase screen) to model atmosphere has been investigated previously with promising results. However, some effects cannot be captured with a single SLM. This paper focuses on the addition of a second SLM and quantifying the results. Multiple screens will allow the user to independently control the Fried parameter, the isoplanatic angle, and Rytov Variance. The research is comprised of simulation and experiment. The simulation demonstrates the ability to accurately model atmospheric effects with two phase screens. Based on the simulation, a hardware implementation was tested in the lab. This thesis describes the experimental set-up and results based on measurement of phase and intensity of the propagated field. It was noted that while analytic results are replicated in simulation, similar results in the lab were difficult to achieve.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


This document is currently not available here.