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Optical Engineering

Estimating atmospheric extinction for eyesafe laser rangefinders
Author(s): Daniel L. Hutt; Jean-Marc Theriault; Vincent Larochelle; Pierre Mathieu; Deni Bonnier
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Paper Abstract

Extinction of laser rangefinder (LRF) pulses by the atmosphere depends on the laser wavelength, weather conditions, and the aerosol concentration along the optical path. The total atmospheric extinction α is the sum of the molecular and aerosol contributions αm and αa. We present simple expressions for αm and αa for wavelengths near 1.44, 1.54, 2.1, and 10.6 μm, which are eyesafe for most LRF applications. Also included are results for 1.06 μm, which although not an eyesafe wavelength is used extensively for LRF applications. The expressions allow the extinction coefficient to be estimated as a function of standard meteorological parameters, assuming horizontal beam propagation at sea level and a homogeneous atmosphere. Measurements of the signal-to-noise ratio of LRF returns from a calibrated target are presented for various weather conditions and wavelengths.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Opt. Eng. 33(11) doi: 10.1117/12.181167
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 33, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel L. Hutt, Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (Canada)
Jean-Marc Theriault, Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (Canada)
Vincent Larochelle, Defence Research Establishment (Canada)
Pierre Mathieu, Defense Research Establishment Valcartier (Canada)
Deni Bonnier, Defence Research Establishment Valcartier (Canada)


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