The inversion of atmospheric mirage data to produce a refractive-index profile and thus a temperature profile is considered. The method presented goes further than previous methods by seeking the most plausible profile consistent with the data. The approach is to minimize a composite cost function; the cost function includes novel terms to penalize a refractive-index profile that is not monotonic and to penalize a refractive-index profile that is not fully convex or fully concave. An algorithm for minimizing the cost function is applied to five sets of mirage data, giving good results.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
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