Abstract

An algorithm based on the Monte Carlo method is developed to solve the radiative transfer equation in the reflective domain (0.4–4 µm) of the solar spectrum over rugged terrain. This algorithm takes into account relief, spatial heterogeneity, and ground bidirectional reflectance. The method permits the computation of irradiance components at ground level and radiance terms reaching an airborne or satelliteborne sensor. The Monte Carlo method consists of statistically simulating the paths of photons inside the Earth–atmosphere system to reproduce physical phenomena while introducing neither analytical modeling nor assumption. The potentialities of the code are then depicted over different types of landscape, including a seashore, a desert region, and a steep mountainous valley.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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