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Alexandrov M.D.,Columbia University | Alexandrov M.D.,NASA | Cairns B.,NASA | Emde C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 5 more authors.
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2016

The Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) is an airborne instrument, whose measurements have been extensively used for retrievals of microphysical properties of clouds. In this study we show that for cumulus clouds the information content of the RSP data can be extended by adding the macroscopic parameters of the cloud, such as its geometric shape, dimensions, and height above the ground. This extension is possible by virtue of the high angular resolution and high frequency of the RSP measurements, which allow for geometric constraint of the cloud's 2D cross section between a number of tangent lines of view. The retrieval method is tested on realistic 3D radiative transfer simulations and applied to actual RSP data. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Mishchenko M.I.,NASA | Zakharova N.T.,Trinnovim LLC | Khlebtsov N.G.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Videen G.,U.S. Army | Wriedt T.,IWT - Foundation Institute of Materials Engineering
Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer | Year: 2016

The T-matrix method is one of the most versatile and efficient direct computer solvers of the macroscopic Maxwell equations and is widely used for the computation of electromagnetic scattering by single and composite particles, discrete random media, and particles in the vicinity of an interface separating two half-spaces with different refractive indices. This paper is the seventh update to the comprehensive thematic database of peer-reviewed T-matrix publications initiated by us in 2004 and includes relevant publications that have appeared since 2013. It also lists a number of earlier publications overlooked previously. © 2015.

Mishchenko M.I.,NASA | Zakharova N.T.,Trinnovim LLC | Khlebtsov N.G.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Wriedt T.,IWT - Foundation Institute of Materials Engineering | Videen G.,U.S. Army
Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer | Year: 2014

This paper is the sixth update to the comprehensive thematic database of peer-reviewed T-matrix publications initiated by us in 2004 and includes relevant publications that have appeared since 2013. It also lists several earlier publications not incorporated in the original database and previous updates. © 2014.

Alexandrov M.D.,Columbia University | Alexandrov M.D.,NASA | Cairns B.,NASA | van Diedenhoven B.,NASA | And 11 more authors.
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2016

Supercooled liquid water (SLW) clouds, where liquid droplets exist at temperatures below 0°C present a well-known aviation hazard through aircraft icing, in which SLW accretes on the airframe. SLW clouds are common over the Southern Ocean, and climate-induced changes in their occurrence is thought to constitute a strong cloud feedback on global climate. The two recent NASA field campaigns POlarimeter Definition EXperiment (PODEX, based in Palmdale, California, January-February 2013) and Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS, based in Houston, Texas in August-September 2013) provided a unique opportunity to observe SLW clouds from the high-altitude airborne platform of NASA's ER-2 aircraft. We present an analysis of measurements made by the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) during these experiments accompanied by correlative retrievals from other sensors. The RSP measures both polarized and total reflectance in 9 spectral channels with wavelengths ranging from 410 to 2250 nm. It is a scanning sensor taking samples at 0.8° intervals within 60° from nadir in both forward and backward directions. This unique angular resolution allows for characterization of liquid water droplet size using the rainbow structure observed in the polarized reflectances in the scattering angle range between 135° and 165°. Simple parametric fitting algorithms applied to the polarized reflectance provide retrievals of the droplet effective radius and variance assuming a prescribed size distribution shape (gamma distribution). In addition to this, we use a non-parametric method, Rainbow Fourier Transform (RFT), which allows retrieval of the droplet size distribution without assuming a size distribution shape. We present an overview of the RSP campaign datasets available from the NASA GISS website, as well as two detailed examples of the retrievals. In these case studies we focus on cloud fields with spatial features varying between glaciated and liquid phases at altitudes as high as 10 km, which correspond to temperatures close to the homogeneous freezing temperature of pure water drops (about -35°C or colder). The multimodal droplet size distributions retrieved from RSP data in these cases are consistent with the multi-layer cloud structure observed by correlative Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) measurements. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Mishchenko M.I.,NASA | Dlugach J.M.,Ukrainian Academy of Sciences | Yurkin M.A.,Novosibirsk State University | Bi L.,Texas A&M University | And 7 more authors.
Physics Reports | Year: 2016

A discrete random medium is an object in the form of a finite volume of a vacuum or a homogeneous material medium filled with quasi-randomly and quasi-uniformly distributed discrete macroscopic impurities called small particles. Such objects are ubiquitous in natural and artificial environments. They are often characterized by analyzing theoretically the results of laboratory, in situ, or remote-sensing measurements of the scattering of light and other electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic scattering and absorption by particles can also affect the energy budget of a discrete random medium and hence various ambient physical and chemical processes. In either case electromagnetic scattering must be modeled in terms of appropriate optical observables, i.e., quadratic or bilinear forms in the field that quantify the reading of a relevant optical instrument or the electromagnetic energy budget. It is generally believed that time-harmonic Maxwell's equations can accurately describe elastic electromagnetic scattering by macroscopic particulate media that change in time much more slowly than the incident electromagnetic field. However, direct solutions of these equations for discrete random media had been impracticable until quite recently. This has led to a widespread use of various phenomenological approaches in situations when their very applicability can be questioned. Recently, however, a new branch of physical optics has emerged wherein electromagnetic scattering by discrete and discretely heterogeneous random media is modeled directly by using analytical or numerically exact computer solutions of the Maxwell equations. Therefore, the main objective of this Report is to formulate the general theoretical framework of electromagnetic scattering by discrete random media rooted in the Maxwell-Lorentz electromagnetics and discuss its immediate analytical and numerical consequences. Starting from the microscopic Maxwell-Lorentz equations, we trace the development of the first-principles formalism enabling accurate calculations of monochromatic and quasi-monochromatic scattering by static and randomly varying multiparticle groups. We illustrate how this general framework can be coupled with state-of-the-art computer solvers of the Maxwell equations and applied to direct modeling of electromagnetic scattering by representative random multi-particle groups with arbitrary packing densities. This first-principles modeling yields general physical insights unavailable with phenomenological approaches. We discuss how the first-order-scattering approximation, the radiative transfer theory, and the theory of weak localization of electromagnetic waves can be derived as immediate corollaries of the Maxwell equations for very specific and well-defined kinds of particulate medium. These recent developments confirm the mesoscopic origin of the radiative transfer, weak localization, and effective-medium regimes and help evaluate the numerical accuracy of widely used approximate modeling methodologies. © 2016.

Mishchenko M.I.,NASA | Dlugach J.M.,Ukrainian Academy of Sciences | Chowdhary J.,Columbia University | Zakharova N.T.,Trinnovim LLC
Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer | Year: 2015

We describe a simple yet efficient numerical algorithm for computing polarized bidirectional reflectance of an optically thick (semi-infinite), macroscopically flat layer composed of statistically isotropic and mirror symmetric random particles. The spatial distribution of the particles is assumed to be sparse, random, and statistically uniform. The 4×4 Stokes reflection matrix is calculated by iterating the Ambartsumian's vector nonlinear integral equation. The result is a numerically exact solution of the vector radiative transfer equation and as such fully satisfies the energy conservation law and the fundamental reciprocity relation. Since this technique bypasses the computation of the internal radiation field, it is very fast and highly accurate. The FORTRAN implementation of the technique is publicly available on the World Wide Web at It can be combined with several existing computer programs providing the requisite single-scattering properties of spherical or morphologically complex particles and applied to a wide range of optical characterization problems. Benchmark results obtained with this program can be used for testing alternative solvers of the vector radiative transfer equation. © 2015.

Mishchenko M.I.,NASA | Dlugach Z.M.,Ukrainian Academy of Sciences | Zakharova N.T.,Trinnovim LLC
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

The modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index is defined as one that yields accurate values of a representative set of far-field scattering characteristics (including the scattering matrix) for an object made of randomly heterogeneous materials. We validate the concept of the modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index by comparing numerically exact superposition T-matrix results for a spherical host randomly filled with a large number of identical small inclusions and Lorenz-Mie results for a homogeneous spherical counterpart. A remarkable quantitative agreement between the superposition T-matrix and Lorenz-Mie scattering matrices over the entire range of scattering angles demonstrates unequivocally that the modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index is a sound (albeit still phenomenological) concept provided that the size parameter of the inclusions is sufficiently small and their number is sufficiently large. Furthermore, it appears that in cases when the concept of the modified unrestricted effective-medium refractive index works, its actual value is close to that predicted by the Maxwell-Garnett mixing rule. © 2014 Optical Society of America.

Mishchenko M.I.,NASA | Dlugach J.M.,Ukrainian Academy of Sciences | Akharova N.T.Z.,Trinnovim LLC
Journal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision | Year: 2016

The numerically exact superposition T-matrix method is used to model far-field electromagnetic scattering by two types of particulate object. Object 1 is a fixed configuration that consists of N identical spherical particles (with N = 200 or 400) quasi-randomly populating a spherical volume V having a median size parameter of 50. Object 2 is a true discrete random medium (DRM) comprising the same number N of particles randomly moving throughout V. The median particle size parameter is fixed at 4. We show that if Object 1 is illuminated by a quasimonochromatic parallel beam then it generates a typical speckle pattern having no resemblance to the scattering pattern generated by Object 2. However, if Object 1 is illuminated by a parallel polychromatic beam with a 10% bandwidth then it generates a scattering pattern that is largely devoid of speckles and closely reproduces the quasimonochromatic pattern generated by Object 2. This result serves to illustrate the capacity of the concept of electromagnetic scattering by a DRM to encompass fixed quasi-random particulate samples provided that they are illuminated by polychromatic light. © 2016 Optical Society of America.

Del Genio A.D.,NASA | Barbara J.M.,Trinnovim LLC
Icarus | Year: 2016

A k-means clustering algorithm is applied to Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem continuum and methane band images of Saturn's northern hemisphere to objectively classify regional albedo features and aid in their dynamical interpretation. The procedure is based on a technique applied previously to visible-infrared images of Earth. It provides a new perspective on giant planet cloud morphology and its relationship to the dynamics and a meteorological context for the analysis of other types of simultaneous Saturn observations. The method identifies 6 clusters that exhibit distinct morphology, vertical structure, and preferred latitudes of occurrence. These correspond to areas dominated by deep convective cells; low contrast areas, some including thinner and thicker clouds possibly associated with baroclinic instability; regions with possible isolated thin cirrus clouds; darker areas due to thinner low level clouds or clearer skies due to downwelling, or due to absorbing particles; and fields of relatively shallow cumulus clouds. The spatial associations among these cloud types suggest that dynamically, there are three distinct types of latitude bands on Saturn: deep convectively disturbed latitudes in cyclonic shear regions poleward of the eastward jets; convectively suppressed regions near and surrounding the westward jets; and baroclinically unstable latitudes near eastward jet cores and in the anti-cyclonic regions equatorward of them. These are roughly analogous to some of the features of Earth's tropics, subtropics, and midlatitudes, respectively. This classification may be more useful for dynamics purposes than the traditional belt-zone partitioning. Temporal variations of feature contrast and cluster occurrence suggest that the upper tropospheric haze in the northern hemisphere may have thickened by 2014. The results suggest that routine use of clustering may be a worthwhile complement to many different types of planetary atmospheric data analysis. © 2016.

Yao M.-S.,Sigma Space | Yao M.-S.,Trinnovim LLC | Cheng Y.,NASA
Journal of Climate | Year: 2012

The response of cloud simulations to turbulence parameterizations is studied systematically using the GISS general circulation model (GCM) E2 employed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) FifthAssessment Report (AR5).Without the turbulence parameterization, the relative humidity (RH) and the low cloud cover peak unrealistically close to the surface; with the dry convection or with only the local turbulence parameterization, these two quantities improve their vertical structures, but the vertical transport of water vapor is still weak in the planetary boundary layers (PBLs); with both local and nonlocal turbulence parameterizations, the RH and low cloud cover have better vertical structures in all latitudes due to more significant vertical transport of water vapor in the PBL. The study also compares the cloud and radiation climatologies obtained from an experiment using a newer version of turbulence parameterization being developed at GISS with those obtained from the AR5 version. This newer scheme differs from the AR5 version in computing nonlocal transports, turbulent length scale, and PBL height and shows significant improvements in cloud and radiation simulations, especially over the subtropical eastern oceans and the southern oceans. The diagnosed PBL heights appear to correlate well with the low cloud distribution over oceans. This suggests that a cloudproducing scheme needs to be constructed in a framework that also takes the turbulence into consideration.

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