A trailer-based sensor system has been developed for remote chemical
sensing applications. The detection scheme utilizes quantum cascade
lasers operating in the long-wave infrared. It has been determined
that atmospheric turbulence is the dominating noise source for this system. For this application, horizontal path lengths vary from several hundred meters to several kilometers resulting in weak to moderate to strong turbulence conditions. Field experiments have simultaneously monitored meteorological and atmospheric quantities during remote sensing in order to better understand the impact of turbulence on horizontal beam propagation. A numerical model has been developed to simulate the performance of the system and comparisons between simulation and experiment have been encouraging.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.