Determination of evaporation duct heights by an inverse method
The detection and tracking of naval targets, including low RCS objects like inflatable boats requires a thorough knowledge of the propagation properties of the maritime boundary layer. Models are in existence, which allow a prediction of the propagation factor using the parabolic equation algorithm. As a necessary input the refractive index of the atmosphere has to be known. This parameter, however, is strongly influenced by the actual atmospheric conditions, characterized mainly by air-sea temperature difference, humidity and air pressure. An approach was initiated to retrieve the vertical profile of the refractive index from sea clutter data. The method is based on the LS-SVM (least-squares support vector machines) theory and has already been validated on simulated data. Here an inversion method to determine propagation factors is presented based upon data measured during the Vampira campaign conducted as a multinational approach over a transmission path across the Baltic Sea. As the propagation factor has been measured on two reference reflectors mounted onboard a naval vessel at different heights, the results can be combined in order to increase the accuracy of the inversion system. The paper discusses results achieved with the inversion method.