Abstract

A new approach to calculating a light field with multiple scattering in media such as clouds, mists, and ocean water is given. It examines all characteristic properties of the real phase function and is applicable to a scattering medium of any optical thickness with an arbitrary single-scattering albedo. The phase function is represented as a sum of more simple functions. The radiance is given as a sum of appropriate components for which the equations, which can be solved by using a known method within domains in which they work best are obtained. The analytic solution of the problem of sunlight propagation in clouds and mists is given on this basis. It describes the complex multimodal angular radiance distribution. A comparison with different numerical calculations shows a fairly satisfactory accuracy of our analytic formulas.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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