Remote sensing of aerosol properties over the ocean by combining surface and aircraft measurements

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Howard R. Gordon, Committee Chair


The sunlight entering the earth atmosphere interacts with gas molecules and aerosols suspended in the atmosphere. Based on the fact that the radiances exiting the top and bottom of the atmosphere contain the information of the basic optical properties of the atmosphere, an algorithm which inverts the radiances measured from the sea surface and from high-altitude aircraft (or satellite) to yield the aerosol single scattering albedo $(\omega\sb0)$ and phase function $(P(\Theta)),$ was developed. An important feature of this algorithm is that it is not necessary to assume sphericity of the aerosol particles. Simulations were carried out for distinct aerosol models, various sky conditions, and different wavelengths. The sensitivity of the inversion to instrument calibration errors, sea surface roughness, light field polarization, and variations in vertical structure of the atmosphere, was then studied. Finally, some possible applications to the satellite-borne sensor (MISR) were examined. The simulations here, which represented the first inversion of the radiances exiting the boundary of the optically thick (multiple scattering) atmosphere, demonstrate that this new inversion technique is capable of retrieving $\omega\sb0$ and $P(\Theta)$ accurately over the visible spectrum even for very turbid atmosphere.


Physical Oceanography; Environmental Sciences; Remote Sensing

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