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Optical Engineering

Monte Carlo radiative transfer simulation for the near-ocean-surface high-resolution downwelling irradiance statistics
Author(s): Zao Xu; Dick K. P. Yue
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Paper Abstract

We present a numerical study of the near-surface underwater solar light statistics using the state-of-the-art Monte Carlo radiative transfer (RT) simulations in the coupled atmosphere-ocean system. Advanced variance-reduction techniques and full program parallelization are utilized so that the model is able to simulate the light field fluctuations with high spatial [O(10 −3   mm) ] and temporal [O(10 −3   mm) ] resolutions. In particular, we utilize the high-order correction technique for the beam-surface intersection points in the model to account for the shadowing effect of steep ocean surfaces, and therefore, the model is able to well predict the refraction and reflection of light for large solar zenith incidences. The Monte Carlo RT model is carefully validated by data-to-model comparisons using the Radiance in a Dynamic Ocean (RaDyO) experimental data. Based on the model, we are particularly interested in the probability density function (PDF) and coefficient of variation (CV) of the highly fluctuating downwelling irradiance. The effects of physical factors, such as the water turbidity of the ocean, solar incidence, and the detector size, are investigated. The results show that increased turbidity and detector size reduce the variability of the downwelling irradiance; the shadowing effect for large solar zenith incidence strongly enhances the variability of the irradiance at shallow depths.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 February 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Opt. Eng. 53(5) 051408 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.53.5.051408
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 53, Issue 5
Show Author Affiliations
Zao Xu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Dick K. P. Yue, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


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