We present measurements of phase angle curves of intensity and degree of linear polarization of powdery surfaces at two spectral bands centered near 0.44 and 0.63 μm. Three powder samples consisting of nonabsorbing spherical particles of sizes comparable with the wavelengths 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 μm were examined. The particulate surfaces were measured in the phase angle range of 0.2°-50° by two different photometers and/or polarimeters. At small phase angles, powdery samples consisting of spherical particles (having very high albedo that resulted in significant multiple scattering) showed prominent features that corresponded to single- particle scattering. These features became more prominent after compressing the surfaces when we changed the packing density of the powders from 0.29 to 0.48. Noticeable differences were observed between polarimetric curves corresponding to different wavelengths. All the samples demonstrated prominent opposition intensity spikes at phase angles <2° likely caused by the coherent backscatter enhancement due to multiple scattering within the particulate surface. The intensity phase curves at these two wavelengths were similar. The photopolarimetric measurements may have broad applications to the interpretation of photometry, spectroscopy, and polarimetry of the ice regoliths of high albedo satellites.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 20, 2005
Revised Manuscript: October 24, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: October 24, 2005
Sergey Bondarenko, Andrey Ovcharenko, Yuriy Shkuratov, Gorden Videen, Jay Eversole, and Matthew Hart, "Light backscatter by surfaces composed of small spherical particles," Appl. Opt. 45, 3871-3877 (2006)