Abstract

Model phase functions for atmospheric clouds and aerosols typically comprise a narrow forward lobe (corona), a broad diffuse background, and a narrow backscattering peak (glory), which can reach relatively high values, especially for polyhedral scattering particles, such as hexagonal ice columns and plates. The influence of these three major components on the asymptotic and transient attenuation of the scattered light is compared for several analytic phase functions to assess the dependence of radiative transfer in clouds and aerosols on the choice of phase function. The impulse response (temporal evolution of the angular intensity distribution) is sensitive to the higher moments of the phase function and could prove to be a useful technique for inferring the optical scattering parameters of clouds and aerosols.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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