Abstract

A three-dimensional Monte Carlo code is used to compute the ultraviolet zenith sky radiance; the code is validated by comparison with a successive-orders-of-scattering code. The amplifications of global irradiance, diffuse irradiance, and zenith radiance that are due to multiple reflectances between a snow-covered ground surface and the atmosphere are compared. For an inhomogeneous Lambertian surface, the contribution of the site environment is analyzed; it depends slightly on the atmospheric turbidity and on the surface reflectance distribution. However, in most cases one can expect approximately 12–15% of the reflected photon contribution to come from within 1 km about the observation site, 25–30% come from areas from 1 to 5 km from the site, 43–47% from 5 to 30 km, and still 10–15% reflected at larger distances. An average contribution function is proposed and used to compute an effective reflectance, which permits retrieval of the sky radiance within 2–4% with a one-dimensional model.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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