Abstract

Sky-radiance measurements at the sea surface can be used to estimate radiative properties of aerosols over water. We demonstrate, through Monte Carlo simulations, that significant perturbations to sky radiance over the ocean can occur when measurements are carried out with radiometers located on islands. In particular, we present examples of the influence of the physical and optical thicknesses of an aerosol layer, the azimuth of observation relative to the Sun, the size of the island, the location of the radiometer on the island, and the albedo of the island on the magnitude of the perturbation for a circular island of uniform albedo. Relative errors in sky radiance of as high as 39% were found in the blue. Simulated (perturbed) sky radiances were combined with an algorithm for retrieving the aerosol phase function P(Θ), where Θ is the scattering angle, and with the single-scattering albedo ω0, to demonstrate how the perturbation can influence the retrieved values. It was found that the fractional error in the retrieved values of the product ω0 P(Θ) can be significantly greater than the fractional error in the sky radiance, because of the effects of multiple scattering. This underscores the importance of removing the island perturbation before an inversion algorithm is used. A first-order procedure for removing the island perturbation based on the values of ω0 P(Θ) retrieved from the perturbed sky radiance is proposed and is found to be effective if the island perturbation is not too large. A simplified Monte Carlo procedure that is applicable to an island of arbitrary shape and albedo distribution is presented. The procedure could be used to assess the suitability of a given island as a measurement site, and to provide a first-order correction to actual experimental measurements.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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