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Proceedings Paper

Simulating atmospheric free-space optical propagation: II. Haze, fog, and low clouds attenuations
Author(s): Maha Achour
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Paper Abstract

One of the biggest challenges facing Free-Space Optics deployment is proper understanding of optical signal propagation in different atmospheric conditions. In an earlier study by the author (30), attenuation by rain was analyzed and successfully modeled for infrared signal transmission. In this paper, we focus on attenuation due to scattering by haze, fog and low clouds droplets using the original Mie Scattering theory. Relying on published experimental results on infrared propagation, electromagnetic waves scattering by spherical droplet, atmospheric physics and thermodynamics, UlmTech developed a computer-based platform, Simulight, which simulates infrared signal (750 nm-12 μm) propagation in haze, fog, low clouds, rain and clear weather. Optical signals are scattered by fog droplets during transmission in the forward direction preventing the receiver from detecting the minimum required power. Weather databases describe foggy conditions by measuring the visibility parameter, which is, in general, defined as the maximum distance that the visible 550 nm signal can travel while distinguishing between the target object and its background at 2% contrast. Extrapolating optical signal attenuations beyond 550 nm using only visibility is not as straightforward as stated by the Kruse equation which is unfortunately widely used. We conclude that it is essential to understand atmospheric droplet sizes and their distributions based on measured attenuations to effectively estimate infrared attenuation. We focus on three types of popular fogs: Evolving, Stable and Selective.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 December 2002
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4873, Optical Wireless Communications V, (6 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.458571
Show Author Affiliations
Maha Achour, UlmTech, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4873:
Optical Wireless Communications V
Eric J. Korevaar, Editor(s)

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