Abstract

A new geometric-optics model has been developed for the calculation of the single-scattering and polarization properties for arbitrarily oriented hexagonal ice crystals. The model uses the ray-tracing technique to solve the near field on the ice crystal surface, which is then transformed to the far field on the basis of the electromagnetic equivalence theorem. From comparisons with the results computed by the finite-difference time domain method, we show that the novel geometric-optics method can be applied to the computation of the extinction cross section and single-scattering albedo for ice crystals with size parameters along the minimum dimension as small as ~6. Overall agreement has also been obtained for the phase function when size parameters along the minimum dimension are larger than ~20. We demonstrate that the present model converges to the conventional ray-tracing method for large size parameters and produces single-scattering results close to those computed by the finite-difference time domain method for size parameters along the minimum dimension smaller than ~20. The present geometric-optics method can therefore bridge the gap between the conventional ray-tracing and the exact numerical methods that are applicable to large and small size parameters, respectively.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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