Abstract

We report a sensitivity analysis for the algorithm presented by Gordon and Zhang [Appl. Opt. 34, 5552 (1995)] for inverting the radiance exiting the top and bottom of the atmosphere to yield the aerosol-scattering phase function [P(Θ)] and single-scattering albedo (ω0). The study of the algorithm’s sensitivity to radiometric calibration errors, mean-zero instrument noise, sea-surface roughness, the curvature of the Earth’s atmosphere, the polarization of the light field, and incorrect assumptions regarding the vertical structure of the atmosphere, indicates that the retrieved ω0 has excellent stability even for very large values (∼2) of the aerosol optical thickness; however, the error in the retrieved P(Θ) strongly depends on the measurement error and on the assumptions made in the retrieval algorithm. The retrieved phase functions in the blue are usually poor compared with those in the near infrared.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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