Multiple-field-of-view (MFOV) secondary-polarization lidar signals are used to calculate the particle-size density distribution (PSD) at the base of a cloud. At the cloud base, multiple scattering is weak and single backscattering is predominant by many orders of magnitude. Because secondary polarization is a direct measure of multiple scattering, it is therefore advantageous to use secondary polarization. A mathematical relation among the PSD, the lidar fields of view, the scattering angles, and the angular depolarization is derived to facilitate use of secondary polarization. The model is supported by experimental MFOV lidar measurements carried out in a controlled environment, and its limitations and restrictions are discussed.
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