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Optical turbulence in the coastal area over False Bay /South Africa: Comparison of measurements and modeling results

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Author: Sprung, D. · Eijk, A.M.J. Van · Ullwer, C. · Gunter, W. · Eisele, C. · Seiffer, D. · Sucher, E. · Stein, K.
Publisher: SPIE
Source:Environmental Effects on Light Propagation and Adaptive Systems 2018, 12 September 2018 through 13 September 2018, Gladysz, S.Stein, K.U., Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 10787
Identifier: 844218
Article number: 1078703
Keywords: Inhomogeneous distribution of optical turbulence · Maritime surface layer · Seasonal cycle · Adaptive systems · Coastal zones · Laser beams · Light propagation · Offshore oil well production · Turbulence · Weather forecasting · Comparison of measurements · Electro-optical systems · Meteorological variation · Optical turbulence · Seasonal cycle · Surface layers · Transmission experiments · Weather Research and Forecast models · Atmospheric thermodynamics


The atmospheric influence on wave propagation was investigated during the First European South African Transmission ExpeRiment from June 2015 to February 2016. The focus in this article was set on optical turbulence, the main atmospheric factor affecting the position and strength of Laser beams, the performance of electro-optical systems and imaging. Measurements were performed continuously during the campaign on three sites over the northwestern part of False Bay. The optical turbulence measurements include in situ measurements using an ultrasonic anemometer at the Roman Rock Island. Integrated optical turbulence measurements were performed at two sites, over a path of 1.8 km and a long distance path of 8.6 km. The sites may be affected by local effects of the coastal environment. For comparison, the optical turbulence was modeled using micrometeorological parameterization. Additionally, the optical turbulence was determined by simulations using the weather research and forecast model WRF. Simulation results were compared to measurements considering seasonal and meteorological variations. The representativeness of the measurements locations for offshore measurements will be discussed. © 2018 SPIE.