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Ultraviolet light propagation under low visibility atmospheric conditions and its application to aircraft landing aid

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Abstract

Light scattering in the atmosphere by particles and molecules gives rise to an aureole surrounding the source image that tends to reduce the contrast of the source with respect to the background. However, UV scattering phase functions of the haze droplets present a very important forward peak. The spreading of a detected signal in the UV is not as important as in the case of a clear atmosphere where Rayleigh scattering predominates. This physical property has to be taken into account to evaluate the potential of UV radiation as an aircraft landing aid under low visibility conditions. Different results characterizing UV runway lights, simulations of UV radiation propagation in the atmosphere, and the use of a simple detection algorithm applied to one particular sensor are presented.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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