Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Michael K. Walters, PhD


An accurate depiction of atmospheric turbulence is required for successful employment of a viable airborne laser for the Department of Defense (DOD). The ABL Special Program Office (SEC) which is tasked by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) bas not designated any particular numerical weather model that is tasked exclusively to model optical turbulence This research compares CLEAR1, 2 X CLEAR I and thermosonde derived values of the refractive index structure constant to optical turbulence values derived from several numerical weather prediction models currently in use by the DOD. The models used were the fifth Generation Mesoscale Model (MM5), the Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Prediction System (COAMPS) and the Advanced Climate Modeling and Environmental Simulation (ACMES) program Comparisons are presented using thermosonde data collected at Vandenberg AEB California during the period l9-26 Oct 200l Universal Time Coordinated (UTC ) Results indicate that the model-derived optical turbulence and the thermosonde derived optical turbulence values are statistically different in many cases

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Meteorology Commons