Rayleigh optical depth values obtained from various computations, tabulations, and parameterizations are not always in good agreement. Important differences as large as 3 or 4% can arise depending on the choice of depolarization factor, the formula used for the refractive index of air, and the choice of standard values for columnar and molecular number densities. The fitting equations generally give rise to the largest differences. The use of different standard altitude profiles for atmospheric pressure and temperature causes a variation of 1% or less in Rayleigh optical depth.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 17, 1989
Published: May 1, 1990
Philippe M. Teillet, "Rayleigh optical depth comparisons from various sources," Appl. Opt. 29, 1897-1900 (1990)