In the near-infrared and visible bandpasses optical propagation theory conventionally assumes that humidity does not contribute to the effects of atmospheric turbulence on optical beams. While this assumption may be reasonable for dry locations, we demonstrate that there is an unequivocal effect owing to the presence of humidity upon the strength of turbulence parameter, Cn2, from data collected in the Chesapeake Bay area over 100 m length horizontal propagation paths. We describe and apply a novel technique, Hilbert phase analysis, to the relative humidity, temperature, and Cn2 data to show the contribution of the relevant climate variable to Cn2 as a function of time.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
Atmospheric and ocean optics
Original Manuscript: June 9, 2006
Revised Manuscript: November 9, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: December 11, 2006
Published: April 9, 2007
Mark P. J. L. Chang, Carlos O. Font, G. Charmaine Gilbreath, and Eun Oh, "Humidity's influence on visible region refractive index structure parameter Cn2," Appl. Opt. 46, 2453-2459 (2007)