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On the convergence of numerical computations for both exact and approximate...

Yang, P., J. Ding, R. L. Panetta, K. Liou, G. W. Kattawar, and M. Mishchenko (2019), On the convergence of numerical computations for both exact and approximate solutions for electromagnetic scattering by nonspherical dielectric particles, Progress In Electromagnetics Research, 164, 27-61.

We summarize the size parameter range of the applicability of four light-scattering computational methods for nonspherical dielectric particles. These methods include two exact methods — the extended boundary condition method (EBCM) and the invariant imbedding T-matrix method (II-TM) and two approximate approaches — the physical-geometric optics method (PGOM) and the improved geometric optics method (IGOM). For spheroids, the single-scattering properties computed by EBCM and II-TM agree for size parameters up to 150, and the comparison gives us confidence in using IITM as a benchmark for size parameters up to 150 for other geometries (e.g., hexagonal columns) because the applicability of II-TM with respect to particle shape is generic, as demonstrated in our previous studies involving a complex aggregate. This study demonstrates the convergence of the exact II-TM and approximate PGOM solutions for the complete set of single-scattering properties of a nonspherical shape other than spheroids and circular cylinders with particle sizes of ∼ 48λ (size parameter ∼ 150), specifically a hexagonal column with a length size parameter of kL = 300, where k = 2π/λ and L is the column length. IGOM is also quite accurate except near the exact 180◦ backscattering direction. This study demonstrates that a synergetic combination of the numerically-exact II-TM and the approximate PGOM can seamlessly cover the entire size parameter range of practical interest. To demonstrate the applicability of the approach, we compute the optical properties of dust particles and demonstrate a downstream application to the retrieval of dust aerosol optical thickness and effective particle size from satellite polarimetric observations.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)