First statistics of the turbulence outer scale at Dome C

Ziad, A. et al., 2008, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 491, 917 | View on ADS (2008A&A...491..917Z) | Access via DOI


Context: The outer scale of wavefronts is of interest for the dimensioning and the optimisation of the High Angular Resolution techniques such as Interferometry and Adaptive Optics, particularly for the new generation of telescopes such as the Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT).
Aims: We aim to provide the first statistics of the outer scale at Dome C site in Antarctica to finalize the characterization of this site.
Methods: A new version of the Generalized Seeing Monitor has been developed for extremely cold conditions. Two DIMMs (Differential Image Motion Monitor) were coupled to extract Angle-of-Arrival (AA) fluctuations using CCD detectors. Correlations of these AA fluctuations for different baselines lead to outer scale estimations.
Results: For the first time, statistics of the outer scale at Dome C are provided leading to small values in the surface layer at Dome C. These small outer scale values compared to temperate sites considerably reduce the fringe excursion of interferometers and the low orders of the normalized amplitude of atmospheric Zernike coefficients, particularly the tip-tilt.
Conclusions: The Dome C small outer scale combined with the large coherence time and large isoplanatic angle are very useful for the development of Adaptive Optics systems and long-baseline interferometers.

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