Abstract

The optical path length from a satellite to the earth’s surface is strongly dependent on the atmospheric pressure along the propagation path. Surface pressure can be measured by using a multicolor laser ranging system to observe the change with wavelength in the optical path length from the satellite to a ground target. The equations which relate surface pressure to the differential path lengths are derived, and the accuracy of the pressure measurement is evaluated in terms of the ranging system parameters. The results indicate that pressure accuracies of a few millibars appear feasible.

© 1979 Optical Society of America

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