Lidar Observations of Airfield Approach Conditions:An Exploratory Study

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  • 1 Stanford Research Institue, Menlo Park, Calif.
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Abstract

Lidar (laser radar) data obtained at Hamilton AFB, Calif., under conditions of low ceiling and visibility, are analyzed by hand and by electronic computer to explore the operational utility of lidar in determining cloud ceiling and visibility for aircraft landing operations. Hand analyses of the data show the ability of the lidar to describe the spatial configuration of the low-cloud structure in the direction of the landing-approach path. The problems inherent in evaluating lidar observations are discussed, and initial approaches to quantitative solutions by computer are presented. It is demonstrated that operationally useful information on the ceiling conditions contained in the hand analyses can be represented by digitizing the lidar data and subjecting these data to computer analysis.

Abstract

Lidar (laser radar) data obtained at Hamilton AFB, Calif., under conditions of low ceiling and visibility, are analyzed by hand and by electronic computer to explore the operational utility of lidar in determining cloud ceiling and visibility for aircraft landing operations. Hand analyses of the data show the ability of the lidar to describe the spatial configuration of the low-cloud structure in the direction of the landing-approach path. The problems inherent in evaluating lidar observations are discussed, and initial approaches to quantitative solutions by computer are presented. It is demonstrated that operationally useful information on the ceiling conditions contained in the hand analyses can be represented by digitizing the lidar data and subjecting these data to computer analysis.

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