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Novel Atmospheric Monitoring for the H.E.S.S. site and its Industrial Applications

By CHRISTOS HADJICHRISTIDIS

Abstract

This thesis concerns the atmospheric monitoring instrumentation for the H.E.S.S. (High Energy Stereoscopic System) gamma-ray telescope site and the adaptation of such instruments for commercial use. The effect of the atmosphere on the H.E.S.S. telescopes' response has been demonstrated and the technicalities associated with the atmospheric monitoring instruments have been studied in depth. The responses of a LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) and a transmissometer have been checked by customised MODTRAN (MODerate resolution atmospheric TRANsmission) routines. This process revealed a malfunction of the LIDAR, whose raw data was independently treated to yield meaningful results. More importantly, the `Durham-designed' transmissometer, manufactured to operate during the night in parallel with the H.E.S.S. telescopes, was successfully adapted for day-light operation. As a result Durham prototype gained strong interest from Aeronautical & General Instruments Limited (AGI) in Dorset, who are particularly interested in the airport applications, and see the Durham instrument as a potential replacement for the transmissometer which they manufacture currently and is coming to the end of its useful design life. Durham University and AGI drew up a license agreement to pursue further development of the instrument. The resulting Durham aviation transmissometer meets the accuracy requirements for the Runway Visual Range (RVR) assessment imposed by both the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Moreover, the Durham instrument is easy to align, uses very little power, and is lightweight and portable, enabling its use not only in civil airports, at altitudes exceeding all prior-art aviation transmissometers, but also in tactical military applications, such as remote landing strips.\u

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:65
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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