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Proceedings Paper

Characteristics of turbulence driven atmospheric blur over coastal water
Author(s): Arie N. de Jong; Piet B. W. Schwering; Koen W. Benoist; Willem H. Gunter; George Vrahimis; Faith J. October
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Paper Abstract

For users of Electro-Optical (EO) sensors at sea, knowledge on their resolution is of key operational importance for the prediction of the obtainable classification ranges. Small targets may be located at ranges of 20 km and more and the present day sensor pixel size may be as small as 10 μrad. In this type of scenarios, sensor resolution will be limited by blur, generated by atmospheric turbulence, easily being greater than 30 μrad (at 20 km range). Predictions of the blur size are generally based upon the theory, developed by Fried [1]. In this theory, the turbulence strength is characterized by the structure parameter for the refractive index Cn 2, of which data are assumed to be available from secondary instruments. The theory predicts the atmospheric Modulation Transfer Function (MTF), which can be incorporated into the total system MTF, used in range performance predictions, as described by Holst [2]. Validation of blur predictions by measurements is a complex effort due to the rapid variations of the blur with time and the problems associated with the simultaneous acquisition of proper Cn 2 data. During the FATMOSE trial, carried out over a range of 15.7 km in the False Bay near Simon’s Town (South Africa) from November 2009 to October 2010, these data were collected in a large variety of atmospheric conditions [3]. In stead of the atmospheric MTF, the horizontal and vertical line spread function (LSF) was measured with a camera with 5 μrad resolution. Various methods for the determination of the LSF and the associated problems are discussed in the paper. The width of the LSF is via its Fourier transform directly related to the MTF. Cn 2 data were collected with a standard BLS scintillometer over a nearby range. Additional Cn 2 data were obtained via conversion of the scintillation data from the same camera and from a high speed transmissometer, collecting data over the same range. Comparisons between blur and Beam Wander predictions and measurements from the FATMOSE campaign are discussed in the paper as well as their impact on the range performance of present day sensors at sea.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 October 2014
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9242, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XIX; and Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XVII, 92421H (21 October 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2066192
Show Author Affiliations
Arie N. de Jong, TNO (Netherlands)
Piet B. W. Schwering, TNO (Netherlands)
Koen W. Benoist, TNO (Netherlands)
Willem H. Gunter, Institute for Maritime Technology (South Africa)
George Vrahimis, Institute for Maritime Technology (South Africa)
Faith J. October, Institute for Maritime Technology (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9242:
Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XIX; and Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XVII
Adolfo Comerón; Evgueni I. Kassianov; Klaus Schäfer; Richard H. Picard; Karin Stein; John D. Gonglewski, Editor(s)

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