University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000


We report an experimental study of the lidar signal depolarization as a function of the relative contribution of the multiple scattering in case of optically dense objects in the atmospheric planetary boundary layer. Results of the observation of fog and stratus clouds are presented, as well as those obtained by sounding of stratocumulus clouds during a snowfall. The lidar data point to a rise of the depolarization coefficient as the influence of the multiple scattering increases in consequence of both viewing angle enlargement and penetration into the object sounded. The variations of the depolarization coefficient are studied as a function of the field of view. In the case of fog, this dependence is approximated by a three-parameter exponential law; it is found that the depolarization increases steeply when the viewing angle is increased from 9 mrad to 12.5 mrad. The relationships between the approximation parameters and the microphysical characteristics of the scattering medium are considered. The experimentally determined size of the area where multiple scattering occurs is in good agreement with that calculated according to the diffusion model. The results obtained on the multiple scattering effect on the depolarization can also be employed in determining the extinction coefficient profiles in optically dense objects, as well as in evaluating the characteristic size of the scattering particles.

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