The article information
 WU Xiaoqing, TIAN Qiguo, JIANG Peng, CHAI Bo, QING Chun, CAI Jun, JIN Xinmiao, ZHOU Hongyan
 A new method of measuring optical turbulence of atmospheric surfacelayer at Antarctic Taishan Stationwith ultrasonic anemometer
 Advances in Polar Science, 2015, 26(4): 305310
 10.13679/j.advps.2015.4.00305

Article history
 Received: 13 August 2015
 Accepted: 10 November 2015
^{2} Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai200136, China;
^{3} University of Scienceand Technology of China, Hefei 230026,China;
^{4} Science Island Branch of GraduateSchool, University of Science and Technologyof China, Hefei 230031, China
1 Introduction The main effects on the performance of groundbased astronomical telescopes are sky background,transmittance,and optical turbulence and so on^{[1,2]}. Atmospheric turbulence is the major reason for the serious decline of imaging quality of the astronomical optical telescope. Random refractive index fluctuations associated mainly with temperature fluctuations are called optical turbulence. Thesky background and transmittance limit telescope sensitivity,and optical turbulence limits resolution. Given theinfluence of atmospheric turbulence on astronomical parameters,seeing is not only one of the importantfactors in site location decisionmaking but is also a major measurement parameter. It is an important indicator in evaluating astronomical site quality. Turbulentintensity in the nearsurfacelayer and its rate of decrease with height are closely related to the qualityof potential sites. Quoted fromPant’s measurement result in Devasthal^{[3]},seeing of the nearsurface 612 m layer is 1.28′′,but it is down sharply to 0.32′′ in the 1218 m layer. In the circumstance where boundarylayer and free atmosphere turbulence at candidate astronomical sites are equivalent,as an indicator of seeing,one must compare turbulent intensity of the surface layer and rate of decrease with height to quantify which site is the best for astronomical applications.
Continuous observationof atmospheric optical turbulence of the surface layer is usually achieved using a meteorological mast equipped with severallayer microthermometers. Because dust readily causes probe contamination and strong wind,insects and other factors damage the probe,the microthermometer probes need regular replacement and cannot be used in unattended operation in adverseenvironments. We have proposed measuring the refractiveindex structure constant Cn with a singlepoint temperature structure function method,involving analysis of temperature fluctuation timeseries data from an ultrasonic anemometer^{[4,5]}. This method was coded into the dataacquisition system of a mobile atmospheric parameter measuring system^{[6,7]},so Cn could be measuredin real time. This instrument was installed at Antarctic Taishan Station by the 30th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE) team for astronomical site testing. Major stations thatare currently used for astronomical observation in the Antarctic are AmundsenScott at the South Pole,Concordia at Dome C,Kunlun at Dome A,and Fuji at Dome F. At the SouthPole,the mean visual seeing,measured by 15 balloon flights in 1997,was 1.86′′,of which the free atmosphere component was only 0.37′′^{[8]}. At Dome C,the summer site testingmedian seeing based on a DifferentialImage Motion Monitor (DIMM) was 0.54′′^{[9]}. In 2004,by combining free atmosphere C_{n}^{2} values determined by the MultiAperture Scintillation Sensor^{[10]}with surface boundary layer turbulence determined by Sonic Detection and Ranging,atmospheric seeing above 30 m was 0.27′′. In 2005 seeing,isoplanatic angle and coherenttime above 30 m based on in situ balloon measurement^{[11]}was 0.36′′,4.6′′,and 7.9 ms,respectively. In this paper,we analyze turbulence data obtained by a mobile atmospheric parameteracquisition system at Antarctic Taishan Station,and compare several methods of optical turbulence measurement. We found a value of C_{n}^{2} derived from a structure function analysis previously proposed with a sonic anemometer was different from that of microthermometer measured. Thus,a new method to measure C_{n}^{2} with a temperature spectrum analysis is proposed.. C_{n}^{2} data derived from an ultrasonic anemometer with the new method and microthermometer were mainly the same in magnitude and trend.
2 Introduction to measurement system The Antarctic mobile atmospheric parametermeasurement system^{[6]}includes a CR5000 data logger,CSAT3 three dimensional ultrasonic anemometer,microthermometer,temperature and relative humidity probe,wind monitor,485 communication module,power module,and a 3m tower. Two levels of air temperature,relative humidity and wind speed,and one level of air pressure,surface temperature,atmospheric optical turbulence intensity and other atmospheric parameters can be measured. Taishan Station is located in Princess ElizabethLand between the Chinese Antarctic Zhongshan and Kunlun stations,76°58’E,73°51’S,at altitude 2621 m. Figure 1 shows the mobile atmospheric parameter measurement system at Chinese AntarcticTaishan Station. The site testingexperiments were carried out during the 30th CHINARE. Part of the data from 30 December 2013,when the system was installed,to 10 February 2014,when the expeditionstaff returned,were analyzed here. 3 Measurement methods of C_{n}^{2} For Kolmogorov turbulence,the refractive index structure constant and the temperature structure constant are defined as^{[11]}
where and denote the position vector,r is the magnitude of ,angle bracketsrepresent the ensemble average,and l_{0} and L_{0} are the inner and outer scales of the optical turbulence,respectively. For visible and nearinfrared light,the refractiveindex fluctuation is mainly caused by temperature fluctuation. Conversion of C_{T}^{2} to C_{n}^{2},depends on local pressureand temperature,and it is customary to use the following equation^{[12]}:
where T is air temperature (K) and P is air pressure(hPa). Therefore,C_{n}^{2} can be calculatedthrough Equations (2) and (3) by measuringthe square and average of the temperature difference given by two sensors separated by a known distance r in the inertialregion. This is called the structure function method of temperature differences between two points.
The relationship between temperature and wire resistance is
Thus,the ΔR and ΔT relationship is
where R0 is the resistance at reference temperature T0 and α is the coefficient of thermal resistivity of the wires.
The two resistance sensors are legs of a Wheatstone bridge that generatesa voltage differenceΔV proportional to the temperature difference ΔT:
Here,C is the calibration coefficient.
The principle of microthermometer measurement is the same as in the last paragraph. C_{n}^{2} is deduced from a pair of horizontally separated microtemperature probes. The frequencyresponse range of the microthermometer is 0.1 30 Hz,and the standard deviation of minimum temperature fluctuation is < 0.002°C^{[13]}.
The triaxial ultrasonic anemometer measures temperature from transit times t_{1} and t_{2} measured along a known distance path of the anemometer’ probe. The speed of sound in moist air is a function of temperature and humidity. Sonic temperature T_{s} and air temperature T have the following relationship^{[14]}:
Here,t_{1} and t_{2} are the transittimes in seconds for sound pulses traveling in opposite directions along acoustic path length d,and V_{n} is the magnitudeof the horizontal wind vector normal to d. q is specifichumidity. In dry conditions,the diferenceof T_{s} and T is very small.
For the temperature fluctuation time series data measured by the ultrasonicanemometer,Taylor’s frozen turbulence hypothesis was used to convert a time series of a fluctuating quantity into a spatial series of fluctuations along the direction of the mean wind. Therefore,Cn is deduced via Equations (9) and (3) by measuringthe square and average of the temperaturedifference between two time points in the inertialregion. This method is known as singlepoint temperature structurefunction method.
where τ is the time interval,determined by the average wind speed and the known space length (typically 1 m).
C_{T}^{2} can be determined by the onedimensional temperature spectrumof the turbulence inertia region. For Kolmogorov turbulence,the onedimensional temperature wave number spectrumΨ_{T}(k) is
where k is the wave number. For the power spectrum,temporal and spatial frequencies are related by . It is easy to show that the relationship between the temporal and spatial onedimensional spectra is
We can write
This method is called the singlepoint temperature spectrum method.
More generally,the form of Ψ_{T}(f ) can be expressed as
Here,A is the coefficient related to the generalized temperature structure constant ^{[15]},and α is the spectral power law of one dimension. On a logarithmic scale,Equation. 13 is written as
can be estimated via linear regression.
4 Measurement results and discussion 4.1 Comparison of C_{n}^{2} between ultrasonic anemometer with singlepoint temperature structure function method and microthermometer Figure 2 is an example of derived from the ultrasonic anemometer with structurefunction analysis and those from microthermometer at Taishan Station on 6 January 2014. The samplingfrequency of the ultrasonic anemometer was 50 Hz and the average time for calculating C_{n}^{2} was 20 s. It is seen that C_{n}^{2} values from the ultrasonic anemometer are several times greater than those of the microthermometer,sometimes even one order of magnitude greater. The characteristic C_{n}^{2} diurnal cycle with minima near sunrise (about 0900) and sunset (about 1900) is not obvious.The other time data also have similarcharacteristics. No matter the order of magnitudeand trend of C_{n}^{2},the data measured with the singlepoint temperature structure function method cannot be used to explain the C_{n}^{2} characteristics at Taishan Station. However,although the order of magnitude of C_{n}^{2} measured by the two methods had a few differences from other field experiments^{[4,5,6,16]},trends were basicallythe same,with a correlation coefficient > 0.9. 4.2 Comparison of C_{n}^{2} between ultrasonic anemometer with singlepoint temperature spectrum method and microthermometer Using Equations (10)(12) we measured C_{n}^{2} by the singlepoint temperaturespectrum method. Triaxial sonic anemometer sampling frequency was 50 Hz and the sampling period was 16.4 min. This yielded 49200 data points per run. A fast Fourier transform was carried out and the power spectrum of 25 Hz was obtained. The power spectrum was smoothed and combined with wind speed,and the approximate inertial range was determined. After the median C_{T}^{2} of a set of values in the inertial region was calculated by the formula (12),C_{n}^{2} was obtained. Figure 3 is a comparison of C_{n}^{2} values derived from the ultrasonic anemometers with spectrumanalysis and microthermometer,using Figure 2 dataset. In comparison with Figure 2,C_{n}^{2} values derived from the ultrasonic anemometer with spectrum analysis are closer to those from the microthermometer. The former was smootherthan the latter,and was only sensitive over 2×10 ^{16}m ^{2/3} ,but the microthermometer was sensitive about 2×10 ^{18}m ^{2/3}. To confirm the data reliability by ultrasonic anemometer at Taishan Station in an adverse environment,and the possibility of measuring C_{n}^{2} from ultrasonic anemometerinstead of microthermometer,we compared both instruments for long time. After abnormal data owing to the broken wire being eliminated,a 23day dataset was used. Figure 4 is a comparisonof C_{n}^{2}values from spectrumanalysis of sonic anemometer data and micro thermometer data from 11January through 2 February2014. In this dataset,under various meteorological conditions and regardless of day or night,the comparison was satisfactory.At Taishan Station,the difference of C_{T}^{2} measured by the singlepoint temperature structure function method and the sonic anemometer and microthermometer is very large. This may be relatedwith factors such as spectral characteristics,turbulent multiscalespatial and temporal structure,and whether the Taylor assumption is valid. A similarresult was found in reference^{[17]}. In that work,an aero thermal series from a cold wire probe mounted on an aircraft was analyzed.C_{T}^{2} from the structurefunction sometimes agreed well with spectral analysis,but sometimes the difference was very large,fivetimes largerthan the spectrumanalysis results. The author believedthat the large differences were in the regions α where deviated from −5/3,so the structure function estimator was only valid for −3≤α<−1. For aerothermal series data to be used in spectral analysis,it is speculated that C_{n}^{2} must be obtained via the singlepoint temperature structure function method under the Taylor assumption. To discoverwhy C_{n}^{2} values from the ultrasonic anemometer were several times larger than those of the microthermometer at Taishan Station,it is necessaryto determine the power frequency distribution of the temperature spectrum during an experiment. Figure 6 is the frequency distribution of the power law of a one dimensional spectrum.The frequency for α< −1 was 36.2%,and that for α > −1 was 63.8%. That is,there is nearly twothirds of spectral power outside the range −3≤α<−1,so we cannot use the singlepoint temperature structure function method to calculateC_{n}^{2}. In addition,during the Taishan Station experiment,average wind speed was 7.7 m·s^{1},and the maximum was 16.3 m·s ^{1}.Average wind speed from the literature^{[4,5,6,15]} was not more than 3 m·s^{1},so we should consider that this speed has an impact on the singlepoint measurement of temperature structure function method.
Figure 5 compares a C_{n}^{2} frequency distribution from spectrum analysis with the sonic anemometer and microthermometer data on 30 December 2013 to 10 February 2014. Sample numberswere 3446 and 59175,respectively. Table 1 is a C_{n}^{2} frequency distribution from the micro thermometer and anemometerin three frequency ranges. In the −15<lg(C_{n}^{2})<−13.8 range,the frequencies of the two are both 78%. Frequencies in the lg(C_{n}^{2}) > −13.8 range are 1.7% and 6.9%,respectively,and those in the lg(C_{n}^{2}) < −15 range are 20.3% and 14.8%. During the experiment,78% optical turbulence at Taishan Station was concentrated in the range 10^{15}<C_{n}^{2}<1.6×10^{14}. In this range,the C_{n}^{2} frequency distributions of both anemometer and microthermometer were consistent. Frequency statistics within the scope of strong and weak turbulence measured by the two instruments had a 6% difference. This may be attributable to smoothing,because the time for those statistics of the ultrasonic anemometer was 16.4 min whereas that for the microthermometer was only 20 s.
Frequency distribution range  Microthermometer  Sonic anemometer 
lg (C_{n}^{2}) > 13.8  1.7%  6.9% 
15<lg (C_{n}^{2})< 13.8  78.0%  78.3% 
lg (C_{n}^{2})< 15  20.3%  14.8% 
1  Hou J L. Site testing parameters and their measurements. Prog Astron, 1994, 12(2): 126–132 (in Chinese) 
2  Wu X Q. Site testing for groundbased optical telescope. J Anhui Norm Univ (Nat Sci), 2013, 36(5): 414–418 (in Chinese) 
3  Pant P, Stanlin C S, Sagar R. Microthermal measurements of surface layer seeing at Devasthal site. Astron Astrohys Suppl Ser, 1999, 136: 19–25 
4  Zhu X T, Wu X Q, Li D Y. Characteristics of ASL turbulence and C2 n using threedimensional ultrasonic anemometer. J Atmos Environ Opt, 2012, 7(1): 6–12 (in Chinese) 
5  Wu X Q, Zhu X T, Huang H H, et al. Optical turbulence of atmospheric surface layer estimated based on the MoninObukhov similarity theory. Acta Opt Sinica, 2012, 32(7): 07010041–07010047 (in Chinese) 
6  Tian Q G, Chai B, Wu X Q, et al. A mobile polar atmospheric parameter measurement system. I. Development and performance testing. Chin J Polar Res, 2015, 27(2): 12540–13146 (in Chinese) 
7  Tian Q G, Jiang P, Wu X Q, et al. A mobile polar atmospheric parameter measurement system: Ⅱ. First atmospheric turbulence observation at Antarctic Taishan Station. Adv Polar Sci, 2015, 26: 140146, doi: 10.13679/j.advps.2015.2.00140 
8  Marks R D. Astronomical seeing from the summits of the Antarctic plateau. Astron Astrophys, 2002, 385(1): 328–336 
9  Aristidi E, Agabi A, Fossat E, et al. Site testing in summer at Dome C, Antarctica. Astron Astrophys, 2005, 444(2): 651–659 
10  Lawrence J S, Ashley M C B, Tokovinin A, et al. Exceptional astronomical seeing conditions above Dome C in Antarctica. Nature, 2004, 431(7006): 278–281 
11  Agabi A, Aristidi E, Azouit M, et al. First whole atmosphere nighttime seeing measurements at Dome C, Antarctica. PASP, 2006, 118(840): 344–348 
12  Beland R R. Propagation through atmospheric optical turbulence// Smith F G. The infrared and electrooptical systems handbook. Bellingham, WA: SPIE Press, 1993, 2: 161–176 
13  Wu X Q, Zeng Z Y, Rao R Z. Measurement procedure of microthermometer measuring atmospheric optical turbulence. Enterprise Standards of Hefei Institutes of Physical Science Chinese Academy of Sciences, Q/AG 05–2008(in Chinese) 
14  Kaimal J C, Gaynor J E. Another look at sonic thermometry. BoundaryLayer Meteorology, 1991, 56(4): 401410 
15  Wu X Q, Huang Y B, Mei H P, et al. Measurement of non Kolmogorov turbulence characteristic parameter in atmospheric surface layer. Acta Opt Sinica, 2014, 34(6): 06010011–06010016(in Chinese) 
16  Wang P, Wu X Q. Experimental study of effects of humidity fluctuation on the refractive index structure parameter for visible radiation. Acta Opt Sinica, 2014, 7, 34(4): 04010031–04010034(in Chinese) 
17  NicholsPagel G A, Percival D B, Reinhall P G, et al. Should structure functions be used to estimate power laws in turbulence? A comparative study. Phys Dnonlin Phenom, 2008, 237(5): 665–677 