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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 36, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 1997
  • pp: 5168–5184

Polarized light scattering by aerosols in the marine atmospheric boundary layer

Mary S. Quinby-Hunt, Lael L. Erskine, and Arlon J. Hunt  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 36, Issue 21, pp. 5168-5184 (1997)

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The intensity and polarization of light scattered from marine aerosols affect visibility and contrast in the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL). The polarization properties of scattered light in the MABL vary with size, refractive index, number distributions, and environmental conditions. Laboratory measurements were used to determine the characteristics and variability of the polarization of light scattered by aerosols similar to those in the MABL. Scattering from laboratory-generated sea-salt-containing (SSC) [NaCl, (NH4)2SO4, and seawater] components of marine aerosols was measured with a scanning polarization-modulated nephelometer. Mie theory with Gaussian and log normal size distributions of spheres was used to calculate the polarized light scattering from various aerosol composition models and from experimentally determined distributions of aerosols in the marine boundary layer. The modeling was verified by comparison with scattering from distilled water aerosols. The study suggests that polarimetric techniques can be used to enhance techniques for improving visibility and remote imaging for various aerosol types, Sun angles, and viewing conditions.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: September 9, 1996
Revised Manuscript: February 10, 1997
Published: July 20, 1997

Mary S. Quinby-Hunt, Lael L. Erskine, and Arlon J. Hunt, "Polarized light scattering by aerosols in the marine atmospheric boundary layer," Appl. Opt. 36, 5168-5184 (1997)

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