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Appl Opt. 2009 Apr 20;48(12):2388-400.

Analysis of long-term measurements of laser propagation over the Chesapeake Bay.

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  • 1Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20375, USA.


Parameters characterizing the atmospheric turbulence in a 16 km maritime optical link were measured for the months of January through June of 2007 on a continuous basis, as conditions allowed. Both the scintillation index sigmaI(2) and the atmospheric structure constant Cn(2) are found to have a strong dependence on the air-minus-water temperature difference. There is no obvious diurnal variation of Cn(2) or of sigmaI(2) akin to the reduction in turbulence level seen in terrestrial links in the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset. Results from the analysis of these data highlight a need for new approaches to modeling beam propagation in a maritime environment.

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