Abstract

A nephelometer is presented that theoretically requires no absolute calibration. This instrument is used for determining the particle-size distribution of various scattering media (aerosols, fogs, rocket exhausts, engine plumes, and the like) from angular static light-scattering measurements. An inverse procedure is used, which consists of a least-squares method and a regularization scheme based on numerical filtering. To retrieve the distribution function one matches the experimental data with theoretical patterns derived from Mie theory. The main principles of the inverse method are briefly presented, and the nephelometer is then described with the associated partial calibration procedure. Finally, the whole granulometer system (inverse method and nephelometer) is validated by comparison of measurements of scattering media with calibrated monodisperse or known size distribution functions.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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