Modeling variations in near-infrared spectra caused by the coherent...

Kolokolova, L., L. Liu, B. Buratti, and M. Mishchenko (2011), Modeling variations in near-infrared spectra caused by the coherent backscattering effect, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 112, 2175-2181, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2011.03.010.

We study a new optical effect, a spectral manifestation of coherent backscattering, which reveals itself as systematic variations in the depth of absorption bands with changing phase angle. We used Cassini VIMS near-infrared spectra of Saturn’s icy satellite Rhea in order to identify and characterize the spectral change with phase angle, focusing on the change in the depth of water–ice absorption bands. To model realistic characteristics of the surfaces of icy satellites, which are most likely covered by micronsized densely packed particles, we perform simulations using a theoretical approach based on direct computer solutions of the macroscopic Maxwell equations. Our results show that this approach can reproduce the observed phase-angle variations in the depth of the absorption bands. The modeled changes in the absorption bands are strongly affected by physical properties of the regolith, especially by the size and packing density of the ice particles. Thus, the phase-angle spectral variations demonstrate a promising remote-sensing capability for studying properties of the surfaces of icy bodies and other objects that exhibit a strong coherent backscattering effect.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)