A Parametric Model for Simulating Turbulence Effects on Imaging Systems


  1. Potvin, G.
  2. Forand, J.L.
  3. Dion, D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
The ever increasing sensitivity and accuracy of modern imaging systems renders a detailed understanding of the optical turbulence affecting them of considerable importance. Consequently, a program that simulates the effects of turbulence on any given image sequence in a physically accurate way would be a valuable tool in the development of imaging systems and/or image processing algorithms. We present such a program for the weak turbulence case with a purely transverse wind with respect to the line-of-sight and assuming Taylor’s hypothesis. We also assume that the Point Spread Function (PSF) has a Gaussian form, thereby allowing it to be fully described by six parameter fields: total irradiance, horizontal and vertical displacements, horizontal and vertical spreads and the attitude (mathematically the same as the correlation parameter in a bivariate Normal distribution). The parameter fields are themselves obtained by taking first and second-order derivatives of a set of scalar fields called potentials. These potential fields simplify the modelling by reducing the number of fields to simulate. We are able to simulate these fields in a physically accurate way over the entire field-of-view and over the entire duration of the image sequence. This in turn allows us to simulate the PSF and therefore the turbulence effects on the sequence. To the best of our knowledge, this program and the theory that supports it are the first of their kind. We believe that when the potential of

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Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2006-787 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Feb 2007
Number of Pages

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