Narrow beam light transfer in a layer of small particles is treated theoretically in terms of degradation of image quality and depolarization. Computer simulations using Monte Carlo methods are described, and some results of the simulations are shown. Simulations were done for cases in which a ground-based linearly polarized light beam is transmitted to a spacecraft through cloud layers, and the light is detected on the spacecraft. Image degradation and light depolarization resulting from transmission through clouds are shown qualitatively and quantitatively. The results indicate that depolarization is negligibly small, but degradation of image quality is not negligible, especially when the light beam divergence is large. At infrared wavelengths the effect of image blurring is much smaller than at visible wavelengths.
© 1981 Optical Society of America
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