Seth L. Marek

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Steven T. Fiorino, PhD


This study quantifies terahertz (THz) or sub-millimeter imaging performance during simulated rotary-wing brownout or whiteout environments based on geographic location and recent/current atmospheric weather conditions. The atmospheric conditions are defined through the Air Force Institute of Technology Center for Directed Energy (AFIT/CDE) Laser Environmental Effects Definition and Reference or LEEDR model. This model enables the creation of vertical profiles of temperature, pressure, water vapor content, optical turbulence, and atmospheric particulates and hydrometeors as they relate to line-by-line layer extinction coefficient magnitude at wavelengths from the UV to the RF. Optical properties and realistic particle size distributions for the brownout and whiteout particulates have been developed for and incorporated into LEEDR for this study. The expected imaging performance is assessed primarily at a wavelength of 454 μm (0.66 THz) in brownout conditions at selected geographically diverse land sites throughout the world. Seasonal and boundary layer variations (summer and winter) and time of day variations for a range of relative humidity percentile conditions are considered to determine optimum employment techniques to exploit or defeat the environmental conditions. Each atmospheric particulate/hydrometeor is evaluated based on its wavelength-dependent forward and off-axis scattering characteristics and absorption effects on the imaging environment. In addition to realistic vertical profiles of molecular and aerosol absorption and scattering, correlated optical turbulence profiles in probabilistic (percentile) format are used.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number