Laser beams propagating through the atmosphere are affected by optical turbulence, whose static and dynamic properties
can be characterized by spatial and temporal fields of the refractive index. The resulting wave front distortions lead to
performance degradation in the form of reduced signal power and increased bit-error-rates (BER), even in short links;
however, it is impossible to obtain closed-form solutions for instantaneous realizations of these distortions and all the
subsequent events. Instead, the statistical properties of the refractive index fluctuations can be studied using one of the
well-known spectral models and extended further into the scintillation analysis and analysis of communication
performance. From a practical stand point, it would be very advantageous to relate the expected system performance to
specific factors responsible for wave front distortions, which are typically linked to some weather variables, such as the
air temperature, pressure, wind speed, etc. In this paper, we present the results of a detailed experimental study, where
some of these relationships are mathematically justified based on the tests conducted over a period of several months.
The measurement data was obtained using a 29-km free-space laser communication link established between two fixed-point
terminals and operating at a wavelength of 1550 nm.