A mirage is seen when atmospheric refraction distorts or displaces an image. We describe a mirage simulator that uses digital imaging equipment to generate mirage images from normal photographs. The simulation program relocates horizonal image lines into positions that they appear to occupy, according to rays traced from observer to object. Image-brightness adjustments are not required; we show that, while the atmosphere can change the size or shape of an object, it does not change its apparent brightness. The realistic quality of the computed images makes this simulator a useful tool in mirage analysis.
© 1992 Optical Society of America
W. H. Lehn and W. Friesen, "Simulation of mirages," Appl. Opt. 31, 1267-1273 (1992)