Abstract

The recently developed finite-element method for solution of the radiative transfer equation has been extended to compute the full azimuthal dependence of the radiance in a vertically inhomogeneous plane-parallel medium. The physical processes that are included in the algorithm are multiple scattering and bottom boundary bidirectional reflectivity. The incident radiation is a parallel flux on the top boundary that is characteristic for illumination of the atmosphere by the Sun in the UV, visible, and near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The theoretical basis is presented together with a number of applications to realistic atmospheres. The method is shown to be accurate even with a low number of grid points for most of the considered situations. The fortran code for this algorithm is developed and is available for applications.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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