Abstract

A radiative transfer model, the matrix operator method, is discussed here. The matrix operator method is applied to a plane–parallel atmosphere within three spectral ranges: the visible, the infrared, and the microwave. For a homogeneous layer with spherical scattering, the radiative transfer equation can be solved analytically. The vertically inhomogeneous atmosphere can be subdivided into a set of homogeneous layers. The solution of the radiative transfer equation for the vertically inhomogeneous atmosphere is obtained recurrently from the analytical solutions for the subdivided layers. As an example for the application of the matrix operator method, the effects of the cirrus and the stratocumulus clouds on the net radiation at the surface and at the top of the atmosphere are investigated. The relationship between the polarization in the microwave range and the rain rates is also studied. Copies of the FORTRAN program and the documentation of the FORTRAN program on a diskette are available.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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