Since the radiation-propagation-in-turbulence is a hardly predictable process, it was proposed a high-level approach in which, instead of studying the medium under turbulence, the turbulence effects on the imaging systems processing are assessed by means of an equivalent statistical model representation, allowing a definition of a Turbulence index to classify different level of turbulence intensities.
Hence, a general measurement methodology for the degradation of the imaging systems performance in turbulence conditions was developed. The analysis of the performance degradation started by evaluating the effects of turbulences with a given index on the image processing chain (i.e., thresholding, blob analysis). The processing in turbulence (PIT) index is then derived by combining the effects of the given turbulence on the different image processing primitive functions.
By evaluating the corresponding PIT index for a sufficient number of testing directions, it is possible to map the performance degradation around the aircraft installation for a generic imaging system, and to identify the best installation position for sensors/effectors composing the EO self-protection suite.