Moderate Spectral Atmospheric Radiance and Transmittance (MOSART)

mosart_thumbThe Moderate Spectral Atmospheric Radiance and Transmittance (MOSART) computer program is a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) standard code for calculating accurate and realistic atmospheric transmission and radiance along sensor-target line-of-sight paths and optical radiance backgrounds against which targets are detected by sensor systems. As such it has the capability to support both scene and signature simulations.

The MOSART computer program calculates atmospheric transmission and radiation in the ultraviolet through the microwave spectral regions (0.2 μm to infinity () or 0 - 50,000 cm-1). It contains features extracted from the MODTRAN® code developed by the Geophysics Division (PL/GPOS) of the Air Force’s Phillips Laboratory [now Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)] and the APART code developed by Photon Research Associates, Inc. (PRA). MODTRAN® is widely used in many different atmospheric studies, both within and without DoD. Since APART was developed to provide atmospheric calculations for infrared (IR) signature studies of both targets and backgrounds, it has many features that are desirable for large simulation models. Because of the requirement that MOSART be compatible with various codes used in the Synthetic Scene Generation Model (SSGM), the overall structure of this version of MOSART closely follows that of APART. However, MOSART contains all the MODTRAN® atmospheric features and is easily used for that code's usual point-to-point calculations.

The current released version of MOSART (v2.0.4) was sponsored by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) as part of the MDA/DESH Backgrounds Phenomenology program. MOSART consists of portable FORTRAN 77 source code and includes approximately 250 megabytes (250 MB) of databases. This extensive set of global databases includes: climatologies, terrain elevation, water/snow compositions, ecosystem type, climatology atmospheric profiles from the earth’s surface to the tropopause, and hydrology. The software compiles and executes under several common operating systems (Linux, Mac OS, and Windows) and is fully portable to any system with a FORTRAN 77 compiler (with common extensions).

MOSART executables are currently available for download for Linux 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. A MOSART Installation Manual is available as well as a MOSART User Reference Manual. Although the User Reference Manual is for MOSART v2.1, which has not been released, the differences between v2.0.4 and v2.1 are minor and are noted in the document. MOSART Technical Reference Manuals containing detailed information on the physics implemented in the model along with numerous tables and illustrations are included with the MOSART download.

Note that MOSART is no longer actively supported by the government, and therefore will not be incorporating bug fixes or updates. MOSART uses a molecular band model database based on the 1996 HITRAN atlas, and has known minor bugs in the multiple scattering algorithm. For an actively maintained radiative transfer model please see the AETHER™ webpage.


Cornette, William M., Moderate Spectral Atmospheric Radiance and Transmittance (MOSART) Computer Code Version 2.00. Proc. IEEE-GRSS/AFRL Atmospheric Transmission Modeling Conference, Lexington, MA (2006)