11 May 2018 Accounting for optical refractivity and turbulence effects in optical wave propagation over long distances
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Propagation of optical waves in the atmosphere is influenced by refractive index spatial inhomogeneities resulting from complicated dynamics of air masses. Both large-scale deviations of refractive index (refractivity) and small-scale random refractive index inhomogeneities (turbulence) can significantly impact performance of atmospheric remote sensing systems including both imaging and laser-based electro-optics systems. Typically, in analysis of atmospheric sensing systems only turbulence effects are accounted for. This simplification is justified for only operation at relatively short distances and in absence of strong refractivity layers. In this paper we discuss more general propagation scenarios for which atmospheric refraction can play an important role and could significantly alter the major laser beam and image characteristics. Atmospheric refractivity is described by a combination of the standard MUSA76 and inverse temperature layer models, and atmospheric turbulence effects are accounted for using the classical Kolmogorov turbulence framework with HV57 model for the height profile of the refractive index structure parameter. The numerical analysis demonstrated that both refractivity and turbulence could significantly impact both laser beam propagation and image formation and lead to noticeable anisotropic effects.
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Mikhail A. Vorontsov, Mikhail A. Vorontsov, Victor A. Kulikov, Victor A. Kulikov, Zhijun Yang, Zhijun Yang, "Accounting for optical refractivity and turbulence effects in optical wave propagation over long distances", Proc. SPIE 10650, Long-Range Imaging III, 1065009 (11 May 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2304472; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2304472

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