RETRIEVAL OF AEROSOL PHASE FUNCTION AND POLARIZED PHASE FUNCTION FROM POLARIZATION OF SKYLIGHT FOR DIFFERENT OBSERVATION GEOMETRIES
The phase function and polarized phase function are important optical parameters, which describe scattering properties of atmospheric aerosol particles. Polarization of skylight induced by the scattering processes is sensitive to the scattering properties of aerosols. The Stokes parameters I, Q, U and the polarized radiance Lp of skylight measured by the CIMEL dual-polar sun-sky radiometer CE318- DP can be use to retrieve the phase function and polarized phase function, respectively. Two different observation geometries (i.e., the principal plane and almucantar) are preformed by the CE318-DP to detect skylight polarization. Polarization of skylight depends on the illumination and observation geometries. For the same solar zenith angle, retrievals of the phase function and the polarized phase function are still affected by the observation geometry. The performance of the retrieval algorithm for the principal plane and almucantar observation geometries was assessed by the numerical experiments at two typical high and low sun’s positions (i.e. solar zenith angles are equal to 45° and 65°). Comparing the results for the principal plane and almucantar geometries, it is recommended to utilize the principal plane observations to retrieve the phase function when the solar zenith angle is small. The Stokes parameter U and the polarized radiance Lp from the almucantar observations are suggested to retrieve the polarized phase function, especially for short wavelength channels (e.g., 440 and 500 nm).