Research Summaries

Back The Effects of Optical Turbulence in the Coastal Atmospheric Boundary Layer on Electro-Optical Systems

Fiscal Year 2019
Division Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science
Department Meteorology
Investigator(s) Wauer, Benjamin J.
Sponsor Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific (Navy)
Summary It is understood that atmospheric turbulence results in fluctuations in the received power of an electro-optical (EO) link. The atmospheric variable relevant to the magnitude of optical turbulence is the structure function parameter (Cn2) which can be quantified through optical scintillation measurements or derived from measurements of high-rate sampled atmospheric turbulence. In addition to this, Cn2 can be estimated using models, some of which are based on surface layer similarity theory. However, the near shore coastal atmospheric boundary layer (CABL) provides an optically heterogeneous and complex turbulent environment that can be difficult to model accurately. The Coupled Air-Sea Processes and Electromagnetic ducting Research (CASPER) West and Santa Ana Winds Study (SAWS) campaigns provide a coherent near shore data set for observation of these CABL features relevant to optical turbulence and can be used to validate operational models. Additionally, in the CABL environment an approach for deriving Cn2 from speed of sound measurements of a sonic anemometer will be explored. A better understanding of optical signal behavior in the CABL will provide increased exploitation of the environment by current and future EO systems operating in littoral regions.
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