In order to assess the capability of the Sutton model to evaluate aero-optical effects in a turbulent boundary layer, large-eddy simulation (LES) evolving spatially and Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computations are carried out at Mach number equal to 0.9. First aerodynamic fields are proved to compare favorably with theoretical and experimental results. Once validated, the characteristics of the boundary layer allow us to obtain information concerning optical beam degradation. On the one hand, the density field is used to compute phase distortion directly and, on the other hand, by means of the Sutton model. Therefore, LES and RANS simulations allow us to study optical models and the validity of their assumptions. Finally, LES is proved to be considered as a reference tool to evaluate aero-optical effects.

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