Abstract

Scattering of light by a rough particulate surface like an asteroid causes a unique signature in the photopolarmetric measurements of the scattered light and yields useful information about the structure and optical properties of the surface. Calculations of scattered light from particles larger than a wavelength of light have been successfully done, using Fresnel’s equation and the laws of geometrical optics. We extend these calculations to include Rayleigh and other small particle scattering processes. Small amounts of Rayleigh scattering mixed with Fresnel scattering cause significant changes in single and double events at the inversion angle of polarization plots, and affect their negative branches. The results of these calculations should be useful for remote measurements of the soils of asteroids and the outer planets.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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Polarization of light reflected from rough planetary surface

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