Abstract

A many-flux (discrete ordinate) radiative transfer calculation procedure is described with the goal of making the mathematics easy to learn and use. The major approximation is the neglect of polarization. Emission within the scattering medium is not included, and the formulas are restricted to a scattering medium bounded by parallel planes. The boundary conditions allow for a variety of kinds of illumination, and the surface reflection coefficients at the boundaries of the scattering medium are accurately determined. A comparison is made with the two-flux (Kubelka-Munk) and four-flux calculation methods, and this leads to empirical expressions for the scattering and absorption coefficients in these simple theories, which make them give nearly the same results as exact theories. These empirical expressions provide a very simple method for estimating the absolute reflectance and transmittance of turbid media and greatly increase the utility of the two-flux and four-flux calculation methods. The two-flux equations give excellent results provided the absorption is small compared to scattering and the optical thickness is greater than 5. A comparison with experimental data taken with collimated illumination shows that the four-flux equations give good results at any optical thickness even if the absorption is strong.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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