Document Type


Publication Date



We advance the benefits of previously reported four-dimensional (4-D) weather cubes toward the creation of high-fidelity cloud-free line-of-sight (CFLOS) beam propagation for realistic assessment of autotracked/dynamically routed free-space optical (FSO) communication datalink concepts. The weather cubes accrue parameterization of optical effects and custom atmospheric resolution through implementation of numerical weather prediction data in the Laser Environmental Effects Definition and Reference atmospheric characterization and radiative transfer code. 4-D weather cube analyses have recently been expanded to accurately assess system performance (probabilistic climatologies and performance forecasts) at any wavelength/frequency or spectral band in the absence of field tests and employment data. The 4-D weather cubes initialize an engineering propagation code; which provides the basis for comparative percentile performance binning of FSO communication bit error rates (BERs) as a function of wide-ranging azimuth/elevation; earth-to-space uplinks. The aggregated; comparative BER binning analyzes for different regions; times of day; and seasons applying a full year of 4-D weather cubes data provided numerous occasions of clouds; fogs; and precipitation events. The analysis demonstrated the utility of 4-D weather cubes for adroit management of CFLOS opportunities to enhance performance analyses of point-to-point as well as evolving multilayer wireless network concepts.


© The Author(s). Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. (CC BY 4.0) Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI.

Jaclyn Schmidt, Brannon Elmore, and Kevin J. Keefer are also research staff contractors in the Department of Engineering Physics at AFIT.



Source Publication

Optical Engineering