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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 20, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 2003
  • pp: 867–875

Analytical models of optical refraction in the troposphere

Brett D. Nener, Neville Fowkes, and Laurent Borredon  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 20, Issue 5, pp. 867-875 (2003)

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An extremely accurate but simple asymptotic description (with known error) is obtained for the path of a ray propagating over a curved Earth with radial variations in refractive index. The result is sufficiently simple that analytic solutions for the path can be obtained for linear and quadratic index profiles. As well as rendering the inverse problem trivial for these profiles, this formulation shows that images are uniformly magnified in the vertical direction when viewed through a quadratic refractive-index profile. Nonuniform vertical distortions occur for higher-order refractive-index profiles.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.1300) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric propagation
(010.4030) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Mirages and refraction
(010.7030) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Troposphere
(080.2710) Geometric optics : Inhomogeneous optical media
(080.2720) Geometric optics : Mathematical methods (general)

Original Manuscript: October 16, 2002
Revised Manuscript: December 18, 2002
Manuscript Accepted: December 18, 2002
Published: May 1, 2003

Brett D. Nener, Neville Fowkes, and Laurent Borredon, "Analytical models of optical refraction in the troposphere," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 20, 867-875 (2003)

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