The optical path length from a satellite to the earth's surface is strongly dependent on the atmospheric pressure along the propagation path. Surface pressure can be measured by using a two-color laser altimeter to observe the change with wavelength in the optical path length from a satellite to the ocean surface. The statistical characteristics of the ocean-reflected pulses and the expected measurement accuracy are evaluated in terms of the altimeter parameters. The results indicate that a pressure accuracy of a few millibars is feasible.
© 1983 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 12, 1983
Published: September 1, 1983
Chester S. Gardner, B. M. Tsai, and K. E. Im, "Multicolor laser altimeter for barometric measurements over the ocean: theoretical," Appl. Opt. 22, 2571-2577 (1983)