Abstract

A local estimate is developed to apply the Monte Carlo radiative transfer model to problems in visibility. The local estimate allows one to calculate radiances which arrive along specific lines of slight at the observer’s position while retaining the adaptability of the Monte Carlo algorithm to problems involving complex geometries. Verification of the estimate is presented for changes in optical depth, solar geometry, and surface albedo. The model is applied to realistic scenes comprised of a mountain vista in a Rayleigh atmosphere viewed through an intervening aerosol plume. The model demonstrates the inaccuracy of the Koschmieder estimate for the calculation of the apparent spectral contrast in certain observer–scene geometries. Initial results indicate that the major role of surface reflection may be to illuminate scene features which are otherwise shielded from incident radiation. Examination of the apparent spectral contrast as a function of the order of scatter reveals that single- and double-order models are not sufficient in all cases. Also, varying degrees of aerosol absorption were found to have little effect on the calculated apparent spectral contrast.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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