Linear depolarization of lidar returns by aged smoke particles

Mishchenko, M., J. M. Dlugach, and L. Liu (2016), Linear depolarization of lidar returns by aged smoke particles, Appl. Opt., 55, 9968-9973.

We use the numerically exact (superposition) T -matrix method to analyze recent measurements of the backscattering linear depolarization ratio (LDR) for a plume of aged smoke at lidar wavelengths ranging from 355 to 1064 nm. We show that the unique spectral dependence of the measured LDRs can be modeled, but only by assuming expressly nonspherical morphologies of smoke particles containing substantial amounts of nonabsorbing (or weakly absorbing) refractory materials such as sulfates. Our results demonstrate that spectral backscattering
LDR measurements can be indicative of the presence of morphologically complex smoke particles, but additional (e.g., passive polarimetric or bistatic lidar) measurements may be required for a definitive characterization of the particle morphology and composition.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)