A long term field trial called FESTER (First European South African Transmission Experiment) has been conducted by an international collaboration of research organizations during the course of almost one year at False Bay, South Africa. Main objectives of the experiment are a better insight into atmospherical effects on propagation of optical radiation, a deeper understanding of the effects of (marine) aerosols on transmission, and the connection of the mentioned effects to the general meteorological and oceanographic conditions/parameters. Modelling of wakes and possible infrared-radar synergy effects are further points of interest. The duration of one year ensures the coverage of most of the relevant meteorological conditions during the different seasons. While some measurements have been performed by permanent installations, others have been performed during intensive observation periods (IOP). These IOPs took place every two to three months to ensure seasonal changes. The IOPs lasted two weeks. We will give an overview of the general layout of the experiment and report on first results. An outlook on the planned analysis of the acquired data, which includes linkage to the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), will be given.
An overview is given of the First European – South African Transmission ExpeRiment (FESTER), which took place in South Africa, over the False Bay area, centered around Simon’s Town. The experiment lasted from April 2015 through February 2016 and involved continuous observations as well as periodic observations that took place during four Intensive Observation Periods (IOPs) of 2 weeks each, which were spread over the year. The continuous observations aimed at a characterization of the electro-optical propagation environment, and included standard meteorology, aerosol, refraction and turbulence measurements. The periodic observations aimed at assessing the performance of electro-optical sensors in VIS / SWIR / MWIR and LWIR wavebands by following a boat sailing outbound and inbound tracks. In addition, dynamic aspects of electro-optical signatures, i.e., the changes induced by variations in the environment and/or target orientation, were studied. The present paper provides an overview of the trial, and presents a few first results.