Abstract

The patterns of reflection of solar radiation from cloud, water, and land surfaces were measured with an aircraft-borne medium resolution radiometer. Reflectances in the 0.2–4.0-μ and 0.55–0.85-μ portions of the electromagnetic spectrum were investigated. Results indicate that the reflectance characteristics of most of the surface types measured are anisotropic. The anisotropy is dependent on the type of surface and the angles of incidence and reflection. In general, the anisotropy increases with increasing solar zenith angle. Clouds and forests show similar reflectance patterns, with forward and backward scattering peaks. Ocean surfaces yield a pattern similar to those of the clouds and forests but with an additional peak which is associated with sun glitter. Reflectances measured in the 0.2–4.0-μ band are generally lower than those in the 0.55–0.85-μ band under cloudy conditions. Anisotropy and spectral bandwidth should be accounted for when computing the albedo of the earth from narrow field-of-view measurements from satellites; otherwise, large errors may be expected to occur.

© 1970 Optical Society of America

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