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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary VHF radar and high-data-rate optical turbulence profile observations using a balloon-ring platform
Author(s): Frank D. Eaton; Gregory D. Nastrom; Demos T. Kyrazis; Don G. Black; Wiley T. Black; R. Alastair Black
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Paper Abstract

A recent measurement campaign at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. involved taking simultaneous observations with a VHF radar and high-data-rate (1-micron diameter) platinum wires to sense optical turbulence (from temperature fluctuations). The radar observations produce profiles of the refractive index structure parameter (C2n ), the turbulent kinetic energy (σ2t ), the eddy dissipation rate (ε), the inner scale (lo ), the outer scale (Lo ) of turbulence, and wind speed and direction to an altitude of 20 km AGL. The fine wire measurements were taken from the surface with several sensors mounted on a balloon-ring platform sampling in excess of 3 kHz to balloon burst altitudes (typically above 25 km AGL). The main objectives of this effort are to compare the two measurement techniques and to obtain observations that can address several fundamental turbulence issues of the real turbulent atmosphere related to laser beam propagation. To date, modeling and simulation of laser beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence have relied upon a traditional theoretical basis that assumes the existence of homogeneous, isotropic, stationary, and Kolmogorov turbulence. Results presented from the radar observations include C2n, σ2t, ε, lo, and the standard deviation of vertical velocity (σw). A comparison of the profiles of C2n obtained from the two measurement techniques is shown and discussed. A time series of temperature data obtained from a fine wire probe traversing one radar range gate is presented and discussed. Future measurement and analysis efforts are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7463, Atmospheric Optics: Models, Measurements, and Target-in-the-Loop Propagation III, 746309 (12 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.827294
Show Author Affiliations
Frank D. Eaton, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Gregory D. Nastrom, St. Cloud State Univ. (United States)
Demos T. Kyrazis, R-Cubed, Inc. (United States)
Don G. Black, Ridgeline, LLC (United States)
Wiley T. Black, Ridgeline, LLC (United States)
R. Alastair Black, R-Cubed, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7463:
Atmospheric Optics: Models, Measurements, and Target-in-the-Loop Propagation III
Stephen M. Hammel; Alexander M. J. van Eijk; Mikhail A. Vorontsov, Editor(s)

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