Abstract

Ground truth inputs obtained during an antarctic storm were applied to the Dave vector atmospheric model. The spectropolarimetric properties of upwelling atmospheric radiation are quantitatively related to the number of ice crystals in the optical path. At large scattering angles (smaller angles in the plane of vision), the ice crystal scattering produces strong polarization proportional to the concentration. However, at small scattering angles, the ice crystals cause generally small polarization, permitting the generally large polarization properties of the underlying terrestrial surface to be inferred. Ice crystals, by virtue of their edges, scatter differently than spheres and may have scattering cross sections many orders of magnitude greater than an equivalent area sphere. Polarization appears to be a useful adjunct in synoptic passive atmospheric remote sensing.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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