Abstract

Beam intensity scintillations, characterized by a refractive-index structure parameter and caused by variations of macrometeorological features of the coastal atmosphere such as air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity, are examined theoretically and experimentally. In our theoretical analysis we present two well-known models considered separately for over-water and over-land atmospheric optical communication or imaging channels. By means of comparison with our experiments carried out in midland coastal environments in southern and northern Israel, we show the limitations of the models to predict the refractive-index structure C n 2 parameter for both daytime and nighttime turbulent atmospheres in different coastal zone meteorological conditions. We also present an extension of an existing model with two different practical applications that, as is shown experimentally, can be a good predictor of C n 2 for optical atmospheric paths over midland coastal zones.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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