Abstract

A simple physics-based method for estimating optical turbulence ($C_n^2$) within the surface layer over snow and ice is proposed, using the Tatarski equation with an improved outer scale model. This improved outer scale model mainly requires the calculation of the wind shear and temperature gradients. Based on the measurements from a mobile polar atmospheric parameter measurement system at the Antarctic Taishan Station in 2014, $C_n^2$ was estimated using two methods: the Tatarski equation and the Monin–Obukhov similarity (MOS) theory. Compared with 16 days of measurements from a micro-thermometer, the correlation coefficient of ${\log _{10}}({C_n^2})$ estimated by the Tatarski equation is 0.72, which is a slightly more accurate $C_n^2$ variation in trend and magnitude than the MOS theory. The results suggest that this simple method has potential value for the forecasting applications of optical turbulence.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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