Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Michael R. Hawks, PhD.


Methods of estimating range to an emissive target based on the depth of an atmospheric absorption band are demonstrated. The present work uses measurements of the CO2 absorption band centered at 2.0 µm where signal-to-background ratios are maximum for many applications. Model results, based on high-resolution transmission molecular absorption (HITRAN) database cross sections, are used to predict range accuracy at ranges of up to 50 km and are compared with short range (<5km) experimental results. The spectra of 23 high explosive events were used to validate the model. Using the assumption of a blackbody spectrum, extracted ranges consistently underestimated the true range by approximately 13%. By incorporating the stoichiometry of the fireball from previous research and using particulate contribution as a parameter, the error for the range estimates could be reduced to 3%.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number