Enhanced Atmospheric Refraction and Radiative Transfer Analyses Merging Gridded Numerical Weather Forecast and Satellite Data

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Monday, 3 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Steven T. Fiorino, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson AFB, OH; and M. Via, D. Meier, B. Elmore, and K. Keefer

Handout (3.3 MB)

This study merges gridded numerical weather prediction (NWP) data from the NOMADS (NOAA National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System) and satellite data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Advance Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) sensor suites to enhance radiative transfer modeling, inclusive of atmospheric refraction effects, and demonstrates the implications for laser propagation and remote sensing applications. The Laser Environmental Effects Definition and Reference (LEEDR) model's radiative transfer code was modified to ingest current and/or archived world-wide gridded numerical weather and satellite data, as well as probabilistic climatological information, thus enabling multi-dimensional realistic atmospheric profiles for traditional extinction analysis as well as more comprehensive light refraction and path radiance calculations. Implications for remote sensing applications are drawn directly from LEEDR and those for laser propagation by way of world-wide effectiveness analyses using the High Energy Laser End to End Operational Simulation (HELEEOS) and High Energy Laser Tactical Decision Aid (HELTDA). World-wide analyses of typical laser propagation scenarios are based on: (1) geographic location and associated atmospheric effects, defined through the LEEDR model, and (2) laser performance and engagement dynamics via the HELEEOS and/or HELTDA code. Collectively, these models enable the creation and application of numerically- or remote sensor-derived 4D profiles of temperature, pressure, water vapor content, optical turbulence, and atmospheric particulates and hydrometeors as they relate to line-by-line or band-averaged layer extinction coefficient magnitude at any wavelength from 350 nm to 8.6 m. Climatologically-based aerosol concentrations and associated optical properties are assumed for all scenarios. Results show that coupling forecast/nowcast and remotely-sensed weather data with climatological properties for aerosols offers significant advantage for both remote sensing and laser propagation simulation, whether air-to-air, air-to-surface, or surface-to-air. These advantages are quantified and described.