Abstract

Based on the fact that the part of downward radiance that depends on the optical properties of the aerosol in the atmosphere can be extracted from the measured sky radiance, a new scheme for retrieval of the aerosol phase function and the single-scattering albedo over the ocean is developed. This retrieval algorithm is tested with simulations for several cases. It is found that the retrieved aerosol phase function and the single-scattering albedo are virtually error free if the vertical structure of the atmosphere is known and if the sky radiance and the aerosol optical thickness can be measured accurately. The robustness of the algorithm in realistic situations, in which the measurements are contaminated by calibration errors or noise, is examined. It is found that the retrieved value of ω0 is usually in error by ≲ 10%, and the phase function is accurately retrieved for ϴ ≲ 90°. However, as the aerosol optical thickness becomes small, e.g., ≲ 0.1, errors in the sky radiance measurement can lead to serious problems with the retrieval algorithm, especially in the blue. The use of the retrieval scheme should be limited to the red and near IR when the aerosol optical thickness is small.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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