Boundary Layer Turbulence (BLT) Water Vapor Measurement Test: Summary of Current Results September 2009

Report No. ARL-TR-4991
Authors: Sean OBrien, David Tofsted, Jimmy Yarbrough, D. Scott Elliott, David Quintis, and Robert Brice
Date/Pages: October 2009; 38 pages
Abstract: The propagation of terahertz (THz) band radiation through the atmosphere is a topic of increasing interest as advanced passive and active imaging systems are developed that operate in this spectral region. Much of the impact of the boundary layer atmosphere in this band is due to water vapor absorption, which is very strong even in atmospheric window regions. Most of the effect of atmospheric water vapor is due to the average integrated path value. However, absorption effects are so extreme in the THz band that short-path variability of water vapor can play a mitigating role. To study this variability in the boundary layer we performed a field measurement experiment. The purpose of this experiment was to measure atmospheric water vapor temporal and spatial structure with the highest practical resolution. We describe the setup of the test sensors, data collection procedures, and analysis results below.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2009