Abstract

The scalar optical properties (extinction coefficient, mass extinction coefficient, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry parameter) of a distribution of randomly oriented ice aggregates are simulated generally to well within 4% accuracy by use of a size-shape distribution of randomly oriented circular ice cylinders at wavelengths in the terrestrial window region. The single-scattering properties of the ice aggregates are calculated over the whole size distribution function by the finite-difference time-domain and improved geometric optics methods. The single-scattering properties of the size-shape distribution of circular ice cylinders are calculated by the T-matrix method supplemented by scattering solutions obtained from complex-angular-momentum theory. Moreover, radiative-transfer studies demonstrate that the maximum error in brightness temperature space when the size-shape distribution of circular ice cylinders is used to represent scattering from ice aggregates is only ∼0.4 K. The methodology presented should find wide applicability in remote sensing of ice cloud and parameterization of cirrus cloud scalar optical properties in climate models.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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