Modeling Turbulence Generation in the Atmospheric Surface and Boundary Layers

Report No. ARL-TR-7503
Authors: David H Tofsted
Date/Pages: October 2015; -3142 pages
Abstract: Optical turbulence effects in the earth's atmosphere are greatest on systems operating in the surface-layer atmosphere. To estimate the performance of systems operating in such environments, direct measurement of current local conditions is always possible, but a common approach used for planning purposes involves estimating the distribution of optical turbulence strength for a given locale through the connections provided by flux-profile relations (Monin—Obukhov similarity theory) between the sensible heat flux generated in the surface-layer atmosphere and the refractive index structure parameter. This report examines various alternative methods for handling various energy-budget components especially important for nocturnal energy-budget calculations. Fluxes considered include radiative and ground flux components, solar direct and diffuse radiation, foliage-cover effects, and a detailed discussion of gravity-wave influences. The discussion and conclusions sections highlight options for extending the model to fluctuating inputs either based on measured data or through use of statistical fluctuations, as well as testing recommendations for a program of model validation.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: October 1, 2015