High-resolution altitude profiles of the atmospheric turbulence with PML at the Sutherland Observatory

L. Catala, A. Ziad, Y. Fanteï-Caujolle, S. M. Crawford, D. A.H. Buckley, J. Borgnino, F. Blary, M. Nickola, T. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


With the prospect of the next generation of ground-based telescopes, the extremely large telescopes, increasingly complex and demanding adaptive optics systems are needed. This is to compensate for image distortion caused by atmospheric turbulence and fully take advantage of mirrors with diameters of 30-40 m. This requires a more precise characterization of the turbulence. The Profiler of Moon Limb (PML) was developed within this context. The PML aims to provide high-resolution altitude profiles of the turbulence using differential measurements of the Moon limb position to calculate the transverse spatio-angular covariance of the angle of arrival fluctuations. The covariance of differential image motion for different separation angles is sensitive to the altitude distribution of the seeing. The use of the continuous Moon limb provides a large number of separation angles allowing for the high-resolution altitude of the profiles. The method is presented and tested with simulated data. Moreover, a PML instrument was deployed at the Sutherland Observatory in South Africa in 2011 August. We present here the results of this measurement campaign.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3699-3711
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmospheric effects
  • Site testing
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'High-resolution altitude profiles of the atmospheric turbulence with PML at the Sutherland Observatory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this