Abstract

Monitoring, probing, and sensing characteristics of aerosol clouds is difficult and complicated. Probing the characteristics of aerosols is most useful in the chemical and microelectronic industry for processing control of aerosols and emulsion, decreasing bit error rate in adaptive optical communication systems, and in acquiring data for atmospheric science and environment quality. We present a new mathematical and optical engineering model for monitoring characteristics of aerosol clouds. The model includes the temporal transfer function of aerosol clouds as a variable parameter in an electro-optic oscillator. The frequency of the oscillator changes according to changes in the characteristics of the clouds (density, size distribution, physical thickness, the medium and the particulate refractive indices, and spatial distribution). It is possible to measure only one free characteristic at a given time. An example of a practical system for monitoring the density of aerosol clouds is given. The frequency of the oscillator changes from 1.25 to 0.43 MHz for changes in aerosol density from 2000 to 3000 particulates cm−3. The advantages of this new method compared with the transmissometer methods are (a) no necessity for line-of-sight measurement geometry, (b) accurate measurement of high optical thickness media is possible, (c) under certain conditions measurements can include characteristics of aerosol clouds related to light scatter that cannot be or are difficult to measure with a transmissometer, and (d) the cloud bandwidth for free space optical communication is directly measurable.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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