A method for computing the probability of having a cloud-free line-of-sight (CFLOS) to or from a given point on the earth, using three-hourly synoptic weather reports of clouds. The method is based on whole-sky photographs taken during daylight hours over a period of three years at Columbia, Missouri. The computational procedure is an effort to eliminate an apparent oversimplification in previously published data that results from the use of mean cloud cover, an unrelated vertical cloud distribution, and sunshine data. Present results are at variance with those earlier estimates, but compatible with recent observations actually taken from aircraft. Although the CFLOS estimates obtained are, by nature, uncertain, the range of uncertainty was estimated by using published empirical data and a quantitative error analysis. 30 pp. Bibliog.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.