Abstract

The contribution of multiple scattering to a spaceborne lidar return from clear molecular atmosphere obscured by transparent upper-level crystal clouds is assessed by the use of the variance-reduction Monte Carlo technique. High anisotropy of scattering in the forward direction by polydispersions of ice crystals is the basis of a significant effect of multiple scattering for small values of the lidar receiver field of view. Because of scattering by large nonspherical crystal particles, the lidar signal backscattered from the molecular atmosphere under the cloud increases significantly compared with the single-scattering return. The ratio of the multiple-to-single-scattering contributions from the clear atmosphere hidden by the clouds is greater than from the crystal clouds themselves, and it is proportional to the values of cloud optical thickness.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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