Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Michael K. Walters, PhD


Forecasting optical turbulence is essential for the Air Force's Airborne Laser program to optimize placement of aircraft. To find bow meteorology affects Cn2, the intensity of turbulence in the index of refraction, case studies of synoptically interesting times are first chosen. Correlation coefficients are then computed between radar measured Cn2 and meteorological quantities. The potential for mechanically turbulent activity is looked at. In the analysis of this work, six meteorological features were found likely to affect Cn2. Two features associated with affecting potential refractivity, and thus Cn2, are jets and inversions. North of jet core level in the northern hemisphere, higher values of Cn2 can be found north of the core, with lower values to the south. With temperature inversions, typically higher values of can be found just above inversions with comparatively lower Cn2 values underneath. The remaining four features affecting Cn2 are not directly related to potential refractivity alone. The first is bands of high Cn2 occurring within regions of strong vertical wind shear. The second feature is high Cn2 occasionally seen underneath inversions during the approach of jets that are associated with gravity wave activity. The other two meteorological features are tropopause boundaries and trough passage.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number