HIM automatic system for determining the visibility
Visibility was first defined for meteorological purposes as a quantity to be estimated by a human observer, and observations made in that way are widely used. However, the estimation of visibility is affected by many subjective and physical factors. The essential meteorological quantity, which is the transparency of the atmosphere, can be measured objectively and is represented by the meteorological optical range (MOR). The meteorological optical range is the length of path in the atmosphere required to reduce the luminous flux in a collimated beam from an incandescent lamp, at a colour temperature of 2 700 K, to 5 per cent of its original value, the luminous flux being evaluated by means of the photometric luminosity function of the International Commission on Illumination. Visibility, meteorological visibility (by day) and meteorological visibility at night are defined as the greatest distance at which a black object of suitable dimensions (located on the ground) can be seen and recognized when observed against the horizon sky during daylight or could be seen and recognized during the night if the general illumination were raised to the normal daylight level (WMO, 1992a; 2003). Visual range (meteorological): Distance at which the contrast of a given object with respect to its background is just equal to the contrast threshold of an observer (WMO, 1992a).
Airlight is light from the sun and the sky which is scattered into the eyes of an observer by atmospheric suspensoids (and, to a slight extent, by To avoid confusion, visibility at night should not be defined in general as “the greatest distance at which lights of specified moderate intensity can be seen and identified” (see the Abridged Final Report of the Eleventh Session of the Commission
for Instruments and Methods of Observation (WMO-No. 807)). If visibility should be reported based on the assessment of light sources, it is recommended that a visual range should be defined by specifying precisely the appropriate light intensity and its application, like runway visual range. Nevertheless, at its eleventh session CIMO agreed that further investigations were necessary in order to resolve the practical difficulties of the application of this definition. air molecules) lying in the observer’s cone of vision. That is, airlight reaches the eye in the same manner as diffuse sky radiation reaches the Earth’s surface. Airlight is the fundamental factor limiting the daytime horizontal visibility for black objects, because its contributions, integrated along the cone of vision from eye to object, raise the apparent luminance of a sufficiently remote black object to a level which is indistinguishable from that of the background sky.