Degraded visual environments are a serious concern for modern sensing and surveillance systems. Fog is of interest due to the frequency of its formation along our coastlines disrupting border security and surveillance. Fog presents hurdles in intelligence and reconnaissance by preventing data collection with optical systems for extended periods. We will present recent results from our work in operating optical systems in our controlled fog experimental chamber. This facility is a 180-foot-long, 10-foot-wide, and 10-foot-tall structure that has over 60 spray nozzles to achieve uniform aerosol coverage with various particle size, distributions, and densities. We will discuss the physical formation of fog in nature and how our generated fog compares. In addition, we will discuss fog distributions and characterization techniques. We will investigate the biases of different methods and discuss the different techniques that are appropriate for realistic environments. Finally, we will compare the data obtained from our characterization studies against accepted models (e.g., MODTRAN) and validate the usage of this unique capability as a controlled experimental realization of natural fog formations. By proving the capability, we will enable the testing and validation of future fog penetrating optical systems and providing a platform for performing optical propagation experimentation in a known, stable, and controlled environment.
Jeremy B. Wright, John D. van der Laan, Andres Sanchez, Shanalyn A. Kemme, and David A. Scrymgeour, "Optical characterization of the Sandia fog facility," Proc. SPIE 10197, Degraded Environments: Sensing, Processing, and Display 2017, 1019704 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 23 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262685.
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