18 September 2017 Determination of accurate vertical atmospheric profiles of extinction and turbulence
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Abstract
Our ability to generate an accurate vertical profile characterizing the atmosphere from the surface to a point above the boundary layer top is quite rudimentary. The region from a land or sea surface to an altitude of 3000 meters is dynamic and particularly important to the performance of many active optical systems. Accurate and agile instruments are necessary to provide measurements in various conditions, and models are needed to provide the framework and predictive capability necessary for system design and optimization. We introduce some of the path characterization instruments and describe the first work to calibrate and validate them. Along with a verification of measurement accuracy, the tests must also establish each instruments performance envelope.

Measurement of these profiles in the field is a problem, and we will present a discussion of recent field test activity to address this issue. The Comprehensive Atmospheric Boundary Layer Extinction/Turbulence Resolution Analysis eXperiment (CABLE/TRAX) was conducted late June 2017. There were two distinct objectives for the experiment: 1) a comparison test of various scintillometers and transmissometers on a homogeneous horizontal path; 2) a vertical profile experiment. In this paper we discuss only the vertical profiling effort, and we describe the instruments that generated data for vertical profiles of absorption, scattering, and turbulence. These three profiles are the core requirements for an accurate assessment of laser beam propagation.
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Steve Hammel, Steve Hammel, James Campbell, James Campbell, Eric Hallenborg, Eric Hallenborg, } "Determination of accurate vertical atmospheric profiles of extinction and turbulence", Proc. SPIE 10408, Laser Communication and Propagation through the Atmosphere and Oceans VI, 104080T (18 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2276631; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2276631
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