21 October 2016 The prediction of the optical contrast of air-borne targets against the night-sky background for Photopic and NVG sensors
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Abstract
The Havemann-Taylor Fast Radiative Transfer Code (HT-FRTC) represents transmittances, radiances and fluxes by principal components that cover the spectra at very high resolution, allowing fast highly-resolved pseudo line-by-line, hyperspectral and broadband simulations across the electromagnetic spectrum form the microwave to the ultraviolet for satellite-based, airborne and ground-based sensors. HT-FRTC models clear atmospheres and those containing clouds and aerosols, as well as any surface (land/sea/man-made). The HT-FRTC has been used operationally in the NEON Tactical Decision Aid (TDA) since 2008. The TDA combines the HT-FRTC with a thermal contrast model and an NWP model forecast data feed to predict the apparent thermal contrast between different surfaces and ground-based targets in the thermal and short-wave IR. The new objective here is to predict the optical contrast of air-borne targets under realistic night-time scenarios in the Photopic and NVG parts of the spectrum. This requires the inclusion of all the relevant radiation sources, which include twilight, moonlight, starlight, airglow and cultural light. A completely new exact scattering code has been developed which allows the straight-forward addition of any number of direct and diffuse sources anywhere in the atmosphere. The new code solves the radiative transfer equation iteratively and is faster than the previous solution. Simulations of scenarios with different light levels, from situations during a full moon to a moonless night with very low light levels and a situation with cultural light from a town are presented. The impact of surface reflectance and target reflectance is investigated.
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Stephan Havemann, Gerald Wong, "The prediction of the optical contrast of air-borne targets against the night-sky background for Photopic and NVG sensors", Proc. SPIE 9987, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications XIII, 99870O (21 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2241966; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241966
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