Abstract

Solar radiative transfer through a coupled system of atmosphere and plant canopy is modeled as a multiple-scattering problem through a layered medium of random scatterers. The radiative transfer equation is solved by the discrete-ordinates finite-element method. Analytic expressions are derived that allow the calculation of scattering and absorption cross sections for any plant canopy layer from measurable biophysical parameters such as the leaf area index, leaf angle distribution, and individual leaf reflectance and transmittance data. An expression for a canopy scattering phase function is also given. Computational results are in good agreement with spectral reflectance measurements directly above a soybean canopy, and the concept of greenness- and brightness-transforms of Landsat MSS data is reconfirmed with our computed results. A sensitivity analysis with the coupled atmosphere/canopy model quantifies how satellite-sensed spectral radiances are affected by increased atmospheric aerosols, by varying leaf area index, by anisotropic leaf scattering, and by non-Lambertian soil boundary conditions. Possible extensions to a 2-D model are also discussed.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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