Atmospheric and Ocean Optics

Atmospheric-turbulence-effects correction factors for the laser range equation

[+] Author Affiliations
Walter P. Cole

Air Force Institute of Technology, Department of Engineering Physics, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433

Michael A. Marciniak

Air Force Institute of Technology, Department of Engineering Physics, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433

Mitchell B. Haeri

Raytheon, Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, California 90245

Opt. Eng. 47(12), 126001 (December 30, 2008). doi:10.1117/1.3050419
History: Received May 08, 2008; Revised October 02, 2008; Accepted November 06, 2008; Published December 30, 2008
Text Size: A A A

The capability to detect an optical target using laser illumination is typically assessed using an equation commonly referred to as the laser range equation. In practice, however, the laser range equation often produces unreliable predictions when compared to actual results under field conditions. The lack of accuracy is due in large part to the failure of the range equation to account for the effects of atmospheric turbulence on the illuminating laser beam. Retrodirective reflections from a corner cube and a simple lens-mirror system, used as a surrogate for a lens-detector optical system, were studied using near-infrared laser illumination. Each optic was tested under a variety of atmospheric conditions in order to assess the effect of atmospheric turbulence on the returned power. Using established theory, a corrective term for use in the laser range equation that accounts for turbulence-induced beam spreading is developed and compared to experimental results. Additionally, a method for correcting the lab-measured optical cross section of a focused optical system in order to account for the defocusing effects of turbulence is developed. With these corrective terms, the laser range equation was modified to provide accurate return-power predictions under varied atmospheric conditions.

Figures in this Article
© 2008 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Walter P. Cole ; Michael A. Marciniak and Mitchell B. Haeri
"Atmospheric-turbulence-effects correction factors for the laser range equation", Opt. Eng. 47(12), 126001 (December 30, 2008). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3050419


Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Book Chapters

Topic Collections

PubMed Articles
Advertisement
  • Don't have an account?
  • Subscribe to the SPIE Digital Library
  • Create a FREE account to sign up for Digital Library content alerts and gain access to institutional subscriptions remotely.
Access This Article
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($20 for members, $25 for non-members).
Access This Proceeding
Sign in or Create a personal account to Buy this article ($15 for members, $18 for non-members).
Access This Chapter

Access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions and is not available as part of a personal subscription. Print or electronic versions of individual SPIE books may be purchased via SPIE.org.