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Optical Engineering

Optics for the Airborne Observer
Author(s): Lewis Larmore; Freeman F. Hall
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes and explains with illustrations many of the interesting optical effects frequently observed by an air traveler. During the take-off phase, haze or clouds render the effects of the disturbed air visible and allow the observer to see the scattering which results from small particles. At level flight, cloud droplet scattering differentiates between large and small particle effects. In addition, the colored halos known as "the glory " form interesting patterns as they dart among the clouds. During periods of clear weather, the heiligenschein frequently follows the end point of condensation trails. Polarized sky-light leads to some unusual results when the observer is wearing dark glasses made of a polarizing material. Many other optical effects including shock-wave shadows, shallow-water colors, and the twilight wedge all result from the unique perspective obtained from the aerial vantage point of the air traveler.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 1971
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 9(3) 090387 doi: 10.1117/12.7971566
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 9, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Lewis Larmore, Douglas Advance Research Laboratories (United States)
Freeman F. Hall, Douglas Advance Research Laboratories (United States)


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