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In order to improve the performance of terrestrial free-space optical communication systems in adverse visibility conditions, we present a method for estimation of the atmospheric channel impulse response function which governs the optical intensity propagation. This method reduces run-time computational demands and system complexity in comparison to our previously proposed dual-wavelength channel estimation technique. We consider propagation of optical wavelengths in fog, where the droplet diameters are close to the wavelength and thus scattering and absorption effects are significant. A method for rapid calculation of a channel response function based on estimating the effective optical depth of the channel and curve-fitting is described. The channel response estimate can then be used to design a receiver-side equalizer (minimum mean-squared error linear equalizer) to correct the signal distortion due to propagation through the dispersive channel. The channel estimates are based on parametric curve-fitting functions which have been developed using the modified-vector radiative transfer theory to model the channel response. The optimal fit parameters are found using particle-swarm optimization to minimize the simulated bit-error rate of the received signal.