Abstract

Using the atmospheric modulation transfer function area (MTFA) as a single-valued numerical criterion for image quality horizontally near the ground propagated through the atmosphere, a statistical study of atmospheric imaging data accumulated over a three-year period has led to the determination of regression coefficients with which to quantitatively predict image quality as a function of wavelength, over the 400–1000-nm wavelength region, according to weather forecast. Utilization of this procedure is simple: one plugs in expected values for wind speed, air temperature, and relative humidity in the regression coefficient expression for MTFA. The larger the expected MTFA, the better the expected image quality. Two sets of regression coefficient data have been obtained, one each for desert and nondesert climates, corresponding to summer and winter data here. Preliminary experimentation over a different line of sight indicates that the accuracy of the prediction is fairly reliable.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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