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Appl Opt. 2009 May 1;48(13):2421-6.

Electromagnetic scattering by densely packed particulate ice at radar wavelengths: exact theoretical results and remote-sensing implications.

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  • 1NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, New York 10025, USA. mmishchenko@giss.nasa.gov


We use the numerically exact superposition T-matrix method to compute electromagnetic scattering characteristics of a macroscopic volume of a discrete random medium filled with wavelength-sized spherical particles with a refractive index typical of water ice at centimeter wavelengths. Our analysis demonstrates relative strengths of various optical observables in terms of their potential remote-sensing content. In particular, it illustrates the importance of accounting for the forward-scattering interference effect in the interpretation of occultation measurements of planetary rings. We show that among the most robust indicators of the amount of multiple scattering inside a particulate medium are the cross-polarized scattered intensity, the same-helicity scattered intensity, and the circular polarization ratio. We also demonstrate that many predictions of the low-packing-density theories of radiative transfer and coherent backscattering are applicable, both qualitatively and semi-quantitatively, to densely packed media.

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