Bi-directional reflectance studies of prepared compact particulate surfaces

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Kenneth J. Voss, Committee Chair


Controlled laboratory BRDF and transmission measurements on layers of polymer and glass spheres have been carried out to investigate the connection between single particle optics and the optics of a packed surface. The measurements show that despite being closely packed, significant features of single scattering, such as the rainbow peaks, are preserved even in aggregated sphere layers. The measurements have been compared to 5 radiative transfer model predictions: the Hapke's model and its improved version, the Lumme-Bowell model, Mishchenko et al.'s BRF algorithm and DISORT. It has been found that strict numerical RTE models predict the measurements well in some regions, but have errors in both forward and backward scattering directions. The discrepancies have been attributed to the non-ideal factors such as internal inhomogeneity and surface roughness and may be corrected using Lumme-Bowell's roughness correction factor for oblique incident light. The inadequacy of the semi-empirical models can be partly attributed to the exclusion of a diffraction contribution in the models.In-situ BRDF measurements on submerged sediments with grain sizes ranging from 300 mum to over 1000 mum have been carried out. For normally illuminated small grain size samples the BRDF was nearly Lambertian, but samples with larger grain sizes are less Lambertian, with the BRDF decreasing with increasing view angles. Under oblique incident angles the samples become increasingly non-Lambertian; the dominant feature in the BRDF is enhanced backscattering. An empirical model is presented for each sediment type which represents the data within the standard deviation of the sample variation. This model is well behaved at angles out to 90°, and thus can be incorporated into the radiative transfer models to improve the light field predictions in shallow water.The BRDF of both dry and wet ooid sand layers with different particle size distributions and layer thicknesses on a reflecting mirror have been measured to determine the sensible depth in the optical region. The hemispherical reflectance (albedo) was evaluated from the BRDF data to quantify the subtle BRDF changes caused by the layer thickness. It was found that the depth that influences BRDF measurements is just a few particle diameters which is in qualitative agreement with radiative transfer calculations.


Geophysics; Physics, Optics

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