We discuss a method of data reduction and analysis that has been developed for a novel experiment to detect anisotropic turbulence in the tropopause and to measure the spatial statistics of these flows. The experimental concept is to make measurements of temperature at 15 points on a hexagonal grid for altitudes from 12,000 to 18,000 m while suspended from a balloon performing a controlled descent. From the temperature data, we estimate the index of refraction and study the spatial statistics of the turbulence-induced index of refraction fluctuations. We present and evaluate the performance of a processing approach to estimate the parameters of an anisotropic model for the spatial power spectrum of the turbulence-induced index of refraction fluctuations. A Gaussian correlation model and a least-squares optimization routine are used to estimate the parameters of the model from the measurements. In addition, we implemented a quick-look algorithm to have a computationally nonintensive way of viewing the autocorrelation function of the index fluctuations. The autocorrelation of the index of refraction fluctuations is binned and interpolated onto a uniform grid from the sparse points that exist in our experiment. This allows the autocorrelation to be viewed with a three-dimensional plot to determine whether anisotropy exists in a specific data slab. Simulation results presented here show that, in the presence of the anticipated levels of measurement noise, the least-squares estimation technique allows turbulence parameters to be estimated with low rms error.
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