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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 10 — May. 11, 2009
  • pp: 7862–7872

Infrared cloud imaging in support of Earth-space optical communication

Paul W. Nugent, Joseph A. Shaw, and Sabino Piazzolla  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 10, pp. 7862-7872 (2009)

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The increasing need for high data return from near-Earth and deep-space missions is driving a demand for the establishment of Earth-space optical communication links. These links will require a nearly obstruction-free path to the communication platform, so there is a need to measure spatial and temporal statistics of clouds at potential ground-station sites. A technique is described that uses a ground-based thermal infrared imager to provide continuous day-night cloud detection and classification according to the cloud optical depth and potential communication channel attenuation. The benefit of retrieving cloud optical depth and corresponding attenuation is illustrated through measurements that identify cloudy times when optical communication may still be possible through thin clouds.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(060.4510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Optical communications
(110.3080) Imaging systems : Infrared imaging
(010.1615) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Clouds
(010.5630) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Radiometry
(010.0280) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Remote sensing and sensors

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: September 29, 2008
Revised Manuscript: April 15, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: April 27, 2009
Published: April 28, 2009

Paul W. Nugent, Joseph A. Shaw, and Sabino Piazzolla, "Infrared cloud imaging in support of Earth-space optical communication," Opt. Express 17, 7862-7872 (2009)

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