I can't find any good data about the transmit attenuation of infrared light in the atmosphere transmitted horizontally (there is a bunch of stuff detailing penetration of radiation from space, but that data is less likely to fit the relatively constant atmospheric conditions that would be experienced by light travelling horizontally and is thus a poor source for my needs).

Say I have an infrared laser, and a distant photodiode detector. What wavelength should my laser be, if I want to maximize horizontal transmit distance? Given the extremely complex verbiage surrounding US license-ability and transmit power requirements of laser devices, a short list of the best candidates would be better than a single value.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking a legal or a physics question? Do you need to penetrate heavy fog, rain and snowfall? In that case you would be out of luck even with IR radiation that is in the optimal atmospheric windows. Do you need a simple legal solution? Wifi does what you need at trivial cost and probably better than any home brew laser solution ever will. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Jul 3 '15 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ It's a physics question. I'm aware that it probably won't work as well as, or will at least have significant shortcomings over, a typical wifi setup. I have a purely academic interest. $\endgroup$ – Wug Jul 8 '15 at 5:47

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