Atmospheric refraction of laser beams over complex terrain has been successfully applied to measure the spatially averaged air temperature lapse rate. The lapse rate γ, defined as the rate of decrease in temperature with height, remains an important atmospheric parameter for predicting turbulent diffusion within the boundary layer and in studying urban heat island and pollution levels.1 The noise due to small-scale temperature variability makes the lapse rate difficult and expensive to measure on a spatial scale applicable to numerical meteorological modeling.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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