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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 33, Iss. 30 — Oct. 20, 1994
  • pp: 7088–7095

Radiance reflected from the ocean–atmosphere system: synthesis from individual components of the aerosol size distribution

Menghua Wang and Howard R. Gordon  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 33, Issue 30, pp. 7088-7095 (1994)

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We describe a method by which the aerosol component of the radiance at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) can be synthesized from the radiances generated by individual components of the aerosol size–refractive-index distribution. The method is exact in the single-scattering approximation. For regimes in which the single-scattering approximation is not valid, the method usually reproduces the aerosol contribution with an error ≲2–3% (and only rarely >3–4%) for Sun and viewing angles as large as 80° and 70°, respectively, and for aerosol optical thicknesses as large as 0.50. In the blue, where molecular scattering makes a dominant contribution to the TOA radiance, the percent error in the synthesized total radiance is significantly less than in the synthesized aerosol component and typically will be less than the radiometric calibration uncertainties of Earth-orbiting sensors. When the aerosol is strongly absorbing, the method can fail; however, the potential for failure is easy to anticipate a priori. An obvious application of our technique is to provide a basis for the estimation of aerosol properties with Earth-orbiting sensors, e.g., the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 20, 1993
Revised Manuscript: April 25, 1994
Published: October 20, 1994

Menghua Wang and Howard R. Gordon, "Radiance reflected from the ocean–atmosphere system: synthesis from individual components of the aerosol size distribution," Appl. Opt. 33, 7088-7095 (1994)

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  1. H. R. Gordon, M. Wang, “Retrieval of water-leaving radiance and aerosol optical thickness over the oceans with SeaWiFS: a preliminary algorithm,” Appl. Opt. 33, 443–452 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  7. E. P. Shettle, R. W. Fenn, “Models for the aerosols of the lower atmosphere and the effects of humidity variations on their optical properties,” Rep. AFGL-TR-79-0214 (U.S. Air Force Geophysics Laboratory, Hanscomb Air Force Base, Mass., 1979).
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  9. H. R. Gordon, D. K. Clark, J. W. Brown, O.B. Brown, R. H. Evans, W. W. Broenkow, “Phytoplankton pigment concentrations in the Middle Atlantic Bight: comparison between ship determinations and Coastal Zone Color Scanner estimates,” Appl. Opt. 22, 20–36 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  11. H. R. Gordon, J. W. Brown, R. H. Evans, “Exact Rayleigh scattering calculations for use with the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner,” Appl. Opt. 27, 862–871 (1988). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. M. D. King, “Number of terms required in the Fourier expansion of the reflection function for optically thick atmospheres,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer 30, 143–161 (1983). [CrossRef]
  13. A. Jayaraman, P. Koepke, “Accounting for the multiple-scattering effect in radiation intensities at the top of the atmosphere,” Appl. Opt. 31, 3473–3480 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. G. A. d’Almeida, P. Koepke, E. P. Shettle, Atmospheric Aerosols—Global Climtaology and Radiative Characteristics (Deepak, Hampton, Va., 1991).
  15. S. F. Biggar, P. N. Slater, D. I. Gellman, “Uncertainties in the in-flight calibration of sensors with reference to measured ground sites in the 0.4 to 1.1 μm range,” Remote Sensing Environ. (to be published).

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