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12 July 2000 Inherent visible light signature of an intense underwater ultraviolet light source due to combined Raman and fluorescence effects
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Abstract
We investigated the utility of a portable, intense source of ultraviolet light for diver use in support of Very Shallow Water operations. The working hypothesis was that the light would be of use to divers at short-to-medium ranges (up to several meters) while remaining invisible to surface observers due to the incoherent insensitivity of the human eye to ultraviolet light. The light source contained an arc discharge lamp rich in short wavelengths and was fitted with a filter that transmitted only the near ultraviolet portion of the spectrum. In-water tests were made in darkness using Navy divers both in a natural coastal environment and in a test tank. It was found that the light was of limited utility to the divers. In addition, the light was not covert because of a bluish-white glow associated with the ultraviolet beam. Subsequent measurements demonstrated that the visible glow was produced by a combination of fluorescence of dissolved organic matter in the water and Raman scatter from the water itself. The relative importance of the two factors varied with water type. These two effects that transform light from the invisible to the visible impose inherent limitations on the use of ultraviolet light for covert operations.
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Charles H. Mazel, Jody Kalata-Olson, and Chuong N. Pham "Inherent visible light signature of an intense underwater ultraviolet light source due to combined Raman and fluorescence effects", Proc. SPIE 4039, Information Systems for Divers and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Operating in Very Shallow Water and Surf Zone Regions II, (12 July 2000); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.391885
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