Abstract

A method is developed to determine the underwater polarized light field from above sea surface observations. A hybrid approach combining vector radiative transfer simulations and the Monte Carlo method is used to determine the transfer functions of polarized light for wind-driven ocean surfaces. Transfer functions for surface-reflected skylight and upward transmission of light through the sea surface are presented for many common viewing and solar geometries for clear-sky conditions. Sensitivity of reflection matrices to environmental conditions is examined and can vary up to 50% due to wind speed, 25% due to atmospheric aerosol load, and 10% due to radiometer field-of-view. Scalar transmission is largely independent of water type and varies a few percent with wind speed, while polarized components can change up to 10% in high winds. Considerations for determining the water-leaving radiance (scalar or vector) are discussed.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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