3 Application of a Thorpe Length Scale-based Approach for Estimating Refractive Index Structure Parameter Profiles in the Atmosphere

Monday, 20 June 2016
Alta-Deer Valley (Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel)
Adam W. DeMarco, University of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC; and S. Basu and S. T. Fiorino

The spatio-temporal variation of optical turbulence is conventionally quantified by the structure parameter of the refractive index (Cn2). Over the years, numerous empirical and physically-based parameterizations have been proposed for the estimation of vertical profiles of Cn2 in the troposphere and lower stratosphere. While the complexity of these approaches range vastly, not one has been deemed more superior over another. In this presentation, we describe a simple Cn2 estimation approach using only temperature and pressure profiles as input. The most salient feature of this approach is the usage of the so-called Thorpe length scale as a surrogate for the outer length scale of turbulence. Utilizing an extensive worldwide database of Cn2 profiles, measured via thermosonde balloon launches over decades, we document the strengths and weaknesses of our proposed approach.
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