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A large complex computer program, HITRAN-PC, has been developed by our laser remote sensing research group that can calculate the absorption and transmission of optical light and laser radiation through the atmosphere and of environmental gas plumes and clouds for a variety of geometrical
and atmospheric conditions using the HITRAN molecular database and other optical spectral databases. The program was developed over the past 25 years, initially to serve as an aid for the laser remote sensing of species and global gases in the atmosphere for our university research group,
but later offered commercially for use in environmental and laser detection of gases for analytical sensors. Details of the history of the development is presented, including initial selling of the software through our university, documentation of bug-lists and extensive versions and enhanced
capabilities, related CRADA agreements with spectral database providers, and commercial selling through an outside software company. The user can select different line broadening models, slant path atmospheric layers, path length, partial gas concentrations, and different US Standard Atmospheres.
The high-resolution spectra of individual gases, composite spectra, and instrumentation smoothed spectra can be calculated and displayed in real time. The program has become a widely used user-friendly PC design tool for quick analysis of the predicted transmission of light and laser beams
through the atmosphere, and compares well with more extensive government-developed software programs including FASCODE and MODTRAN. In addition, a free demo version has been developed that is often used by other universities in optical spectroscopy graduate classes to show details of atmospheric