Target tracking and laser-based pointing from airborne platforms can be degraded significantly by the propagation
environment around an airborne platform including zones of severe turbulence generated by rotor downwash and engine exhausts. This is the topic of the EDA study group ERG 108.019 on "Laser beam propagation and imaging through severe environments". This paper reports on experiments on optical propagation in the vicinity of a plume of a scaled down jet engine, performed by this co-operation group. The group is also working on methods for estimating the extent of the turbulence effects on the tracking and pointing performance under these conditions.