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Proceedings Paper

Effects of multiple scattering and thermal emission on target-background signatures sensed through obscuring atmospheres
Author(s): Robert A. Sutherland; Jill C. Thompson; James D. Klett
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Paper Abstract

We report on the application of a recently developed method for producing exact solutions of the thermal vision of the radiative transfer equation1. The method is demonstrated to be accurate to within five significant figures when compared with the one dimensional plane layer solutions published by van de Hulst2, and, has the added capability for treating discrete localized, aerosol clouds of spherical and cylindrical symmetry. The method, described in detail in a companion paper1, is only briefly summarized here, where our main purpose is to demonstrate the utility of the method for calculating emissivity functions of finite aerosol clouds of arbitrary optical thickness and albedo, and most likely to occur on the modern cluttered battlefield. The emissivity functions are then used to determine apparent temperatures including effects of both internal thermal emission and in- scatter from the ambient surroundings. We apply the results to four generic scenarios, including the mid and far IR and a hypothetical full spectrum band. In all cases, calculations show that errors on the order of several degrees in the sensed temperature can occur if cloud emissivity is not accounted for; with errors being most pronounced at the higher values of optical depth and albedo. We also demonstrate that significant discrepancies can occur when comparing results from different spectral bands, especially for the mid IR which consistently shows higher apparent temperatures than the other bands, including the full spectrum case. Results of emissivity calculations show that in almost no case can one justify the simple Beer's Law model that essentially ignores emissive/scattering effects; however, there is reason for optimism in the use of other simplifying first and higher order approximations used in some contemporary models. The present version of the model treats only Gaussian aerosol distributions and isotropic scattering; although neither assumption necessarily represents a restriction on the method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4029, Targets and Backgrounds VI: Characterization, Visualization, and the Detection Process, (24 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.392539
Show Author Affiliations
Robert A. Sutherland, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Jill C. Thompson, Army Research Lab. (United States)
James D. Klett, New Mexico State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4029:
Targets and Backgrounds VI: Characterization, Visualization, and the Detection Process
Wendell R. Watkins; Dieter Clement; William R. Reynolds, Editor(s)

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