Impact of large-scale atmospheric refractive structures on optical wave propagation

Christopher G. Nunalee, Ping He, Sukanta Basu, Mikhail A. Vorontsov, Steven T. Fiorino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional techniques used to model optical wave propagation through the Earth's atmosphere typically as-sume flow fields based on various empirical relationships. Unfortunately, these synthetic refractive index fields do not take into account the influence of transient macroscale and mesoscale (i.e. larger than turbulent microscale) atmospheric phenomena. Nevertheless, a number of atmospheric structures that are characterized by various spatial and temporal scales exist which have the potential to significantly impact refractive index fields, thereby resulting dramatic impacts on optical wave propagation characteristics. In this paper, we analyze a subset of spatiooral dynamics found to strongly affect optical waves propagating through these atmospheric struc-tures. Analysis of wave propagation was performed in the geometrical optics approximation using a standard ray tracing technique. Using a numerical weather prediction (NWP) approach, we simulate multiple realistic atmospheric events (e.g., island wakes, low-level jets, etc.), and estimate the associated refractivity fields prior to performing ray tracing simulations. By coupling NWP model output with ray tracing simulations, we demon-strate the ability to quantitatively assess the potential impacts of coherent atmospheric phenomena on optical ray propagation. Our results show a strong impact of spatiooral characteristics of the refractive index field on optical ray trajectories. Such correlations validate the effectiveness of NWP models as they offer a more comprehensive representation of atmospheric refractivity fields compared to conventional methods based on the assumption of horizontal homogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaser Communication and Propagation Through the Atmosphere and Oceans III
PublisherSPIE
Volume9224
ISBN (Electronic)9781628412512
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventLaser Communication and Propagation Through the Atmosphere and Oceans III - San Diego, United States
Duration: 17 Aug 201419 Aug 2014

Conference

ConferenceLaser Communication and Propagation Through the Atmosphere and Oceans III
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period17/08/1419/08/14

Keywords

  • Mesoscale Modeling
  • Ray Tracing
  • Refraction
  • Turbulence

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of large-scale atmospheric refractive structures on optical wave propagation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this