Abstract

Two methods for solving the radiative transfer equation are compared with the aim of computing the angular distribution of the light scattered by a heterogeneous scattering medium composed of a single flat layer or a multilayer. The first method [auxiliary function method (AFM)], recently developed, uses an auxiliary function and leads to an exact solution; the second [discrete-ordinate method (DOM)] is based on the channel concept and needs an angular discretization. The comparison is applied to two different media presenting two typical and extreme scattering behaviors: Rayleigh and Mie scattering with smooth or very anisotropic phase functions, respectively. A very good agreement between the predictions of the two methods is observed in both cases. The larger the number of channels used in the DOM, the better the agreement. The principal advantages and limitations of each method are also listed.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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