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Opt Express. 2006 Apr 17;14(8):3602-15.

Calibrated near-forward volume scattering function obtained from the LISST particle sizer.


The physical nature of particles, such as size, shape, and composition govern their angular light scattering, which is described by the volume scattering function (VSF). Despite the fact that the VSF is one of the most important inherent optical properties, it has rarely been measured in aquatic environments since no commercial instrument exists to measure the full VSF in the field. The commonly used LISST (Laser In Situ Scattering and Transmissometry) particle sizer (Sequoia Scientific, measures near-forward angular scattering of a laser source (lambda= 670 nm) at 32 logarithmically-spaced photodetectors arranged between 0.08 and 15 degrees and inverts the data to obtain particle size distribution (PSD). In order to calibrate the LISST to provide the near-forward VSF of unknown particle suspensions, we analyzed the scattering of light by polystyrene bead suspensions of known size distributions and composition, and empirically compared it with the results of Mie theory. This (1) allowed us to obtain a set of instrument specific scaling factors needed to retrieve the magnitude of the VSF and (2) provided validation that the shape of the VSF was appropriately obtained.


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