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On the accuracy of double scattering approximation for atmospheric polarization...

Korkin, S., A. Lyapustin, and A. Marshak (2012), On the accuracy of double scattering approximation for atmospheric polarization computations, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 113, 172-181, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2011.10.008.

Interpretation of multi-angle spectro-polarimetric data in remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols requires fast and accurate methods of solving the vector radiative transfer equation (VRTE). The single and double scattering approximations could provide an analytical framework for the inversion algorithms and are relatively fast; however accuracy assessments of these approximations for the aerosol atmospheres in the atmospheric window channels have been missing. This paper provides such analysis for a vertically homogeneous aerosol atmosphere with weak and strong asymmetry of scattering. In both cases, the double scattering approximation gives a high accuracy result (relative error ~0.2%) only for the low optical path ~10 -2. As the error rapidly grows with optical thickness, a full VRTE solution is required for the practical remote sensing analysis. It is shown that the scattering anisotropy is not important at low optical thicknesses neither for reflected nor for transmitted polarization components of radiation.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)