First results on the experiment FESTER on optical turbulence over False Bay South Africa: Dependencies and consequences
The experiment FESTER (First European South African Transmission ExpeRiment) took place in 2015 to investigate the atmospheric influence on electro-optical systems performance across False Bay / South Africa on a long term basis. Several permanent stations for monitoring electro-optical propagation and atmospheric parameters were set up around the Bay. Additional intensive observation periods (IOPs) allowed for boat runs to assess the inhomogeneous atmospheric propagation conditions over water. In this paper we focus on the distribution of optical turbulence over the Bay. The different impact of water masses originating from the Indian Ocean and the Benguela current on the development of optical turbulence is discussed. The seasonal behavior of optical turbulence is presented and its effect on electro-optical system performance examined.