Some Polarization Measurements of the Reflected Sunlight from Desert Terrain near Tucson, Ariz.

Frederick G. Fernald Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson

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Benjamin M. Herman Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson

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Robert J. Curran Institute of Atmospheric Physics, The University of Arizona, Tucson

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Abstract

Measurements were taken of the polarization of solar radiation reflected from the desert terrain 18 mi SW of Tucson. The polarimeter was mounted in an aircraft and flown from 1000–2000 ft above the surface. Results showed the plane of polarization to be approximately 90° to the scattering plane, while the degree of polarization ranged from about 3% to 18%, increasing as the scattering angle varied from 180° (back-scattering) to 90°.

Abstract

Measurements were taken of the polarization of solar radiation reflected from the desert terrain 18 mi SW of Tucson. The polarimeter was mounted in an aircraft and flown from 1000–2000 ft above the surface. Results showed the plane of polarization to be approximately 90° to the scattering plane, while the degree of polarization ranged from about 3% to 18%, increasing as the scattering angle varied from 180° (back-scattering) to 90°.

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