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Proceedings Paper

A new instrument for measuring optical transmission in the atmosphere
Author(s): Timo A. Kaurila
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Paper Abstract

It is an important task to measure optical transmission of the atmosphere when testing the performance of electro-optical systems such as thermal imagers. Only by knowing atmospheric transmission precisely enough, we will be able to eliminate effects of the atmosphere on test results. For this reason a new instrument that measures optical transmission in the atmosphere has been constructed. The transmissometer consists of a transmitter/receiver unit, a reflector and control software. The instrument measures atmospheric transmission at wavelength of 1 &mgr;m and 8-12 &mgr;m by comparing the intensity of the beam propagating through the atmosphere and the reference beam inside the transmitter/receiver unit. Calibration is carried out by the aid of a visibility meter and a special calibration algorithm. An important criterion for the design was to create an instrument which could be used flexibly in field measurements. The transmissometer was tested comprehensively in the field in March and June 2006. It can measure extinction coefficients up to 3 - 12 km-1 depending on the span between the transmitter/receiver unit and reflector with accuracy of 10 - 20 %. According to the test measurements the transmissometer also fulfills the other requirement specifications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6543, Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVIII, 654308 (30 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.717913
Show Author Affiliations
Timo A. Kaurila, Defence Forces Technical Research Centre (Finland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6543:
Infrared Imaging Systems: Design, Analysis, Modeling, and Testing XVIII
Gerald C. Holst, Editor(s)

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