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Find out more**Basics about radiative transfer
**

Bruno Carli

Day 2

Lecture 2

Basics about radiative transfer - Bruno Carli

1

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING

Table of Contents

• The radiative transfer equation. • The radiative transfer equation in a simple case • Analytical solution of the integral equation of radiative transfer • The complications of the problem •Scattering •Non-local thermodynamic equilibrium •Variable medium • Discrete calculation of radiative transfer integral • Optical path: refractive index of the atmosphere and mirages. •The green flash •Scintillations

Day 2

Lecture 2

Basics about radiative transfer - Bruno Carli

2

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING

**Radiative Transfer Equation
**

The specific intensity of radiation is the energy flux per unit time, unit frequency, unit solid angle and unit area normal to the direction of propagation. The radiative transfer equation states that the specific intensity of radiation Iσ during its propagation in a medium is subject to losses due to extinction and to gains due to emission:

dIσ = − µσ ⋅ Iσ + ρ ⋅ jσ dx

where x is the co-ordinate along the optical path, µσ is the extinction coefficient, ρ is the mass density jσ is the emission coefficient per unit mass.

Day 2

Lecture 2

Basics about radiative transfer - Bruno Carli

3

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING

A Simple Case

As a start it is useful to study the radiative transfer equation in the simple case of: • no scattering effect, • local thermodynamic equilibrium, • homogeneous medium.

Day 2

Lecture 2

Basics about radiative transfer - Bruno Carli

4

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Extinction In general. the extinction coefficient µσ includes both the absorption coefficient ασ and the scattering coefficient sσ.Bruno Carli 5 . of both the gas and the aerosols present in the gas: µσ = ασ gas + sσ gas + ασ aerosol + sσ aerosol In the case of a pure gas atmosphere with no-scattering a simple expression is obtained: µσ = ασ gas = ασ Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Emission In absence of scattering and for local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 6 . the source function is equal to : ρ ⋅ jσ = ασ Bσ (T ) where ασ is the absorption coefficient (equal to the emission coefficient for the Kirchhoff's law) and Bσ(T) is the Plank function at frequency σ and temperature T.

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Radiative Transfer Equation for LTE and No Scattering For an atmosphere with no scattering and in LTE the radiative transfer equation is reduced to: dIσ = −ασ ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ Bσ (T ) dx Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 7 .

For any term that introduces a loss there must be a term that introduces a gain. In the propagating beam a change of intensity is caused by the difference between the intensity of the source Iσ that is being attenuated and the intensity of the local source Bσ(T). Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 8 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Note on Conservation of Energy dIσ = −ασ ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ Bσ (T ) dx Losses and gains must obey the second law of thermodynamics.

Bruno Carli 9 . Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Analytical Solution of the Integral Homogeneous Medium An analytical integral expression of the differential equation of radiative transfer: dIσ = −ασ ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ Bσ (T ) dx can only be obtained for an homogeneous medium.

This can be formally obtained multiplying both terms of the differential equation by exp[ασ(x¯x1)] (i. = ασ ⋅ e ⋅[−Iσ + ⋅Bσ (T )] dx dI eασ ( x − x1 ) ⋅ σ + ασ ⋅ eασ ( x − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ = ασ ⋅ eασ ( x − x1 ) ⋅ Bσ (T ) dx d ασ ( x − x1 ) d ασ ( x − x1 ) e ⋅ Iσ = e ⋅ Bσ (T ) dx dx e ⋅ [ ] [ ] ( eα ( x − x ) ⋅ Iσ ( x2 ) = Iσ (x1 ) + Bσ (T ) ⋅ (eα ( x − x ) − 1) Iσ (x2 ) = Iσ ( x1 ) ⋅ e −α ( x − x ) + Bσ (T ) ⋅ ( − e −α ( x − x ) ) 1 σ 2 1 eασ ( x2 − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ (x2 ) − eασ ( x1 − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ ( x1 ) = eασ ( x2 − x1 ) − eασ ( x1 − x1 ) ⋅ Bσ (T ) σ 2 1 ) σ 2 1 σ 2 1 Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . ασ ( x − x1 ) dIσ ασ ( x − x1 ) • x1 • x • x2 An expression is obtained that can be integrated from x1 to x2.e.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Analytical Solution of the Integral Homogeneous Medium The differential equation is at point x and we want to obtain the integral from x1 and x2 .Bruno Carli 10 . the attenuation from x1 to x ) .

Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 11 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Analytical Solution of the Integral Homogeneous Medium In the integral expression of radiative transfer: Iσ (x2 ) = Iσ (x1 ) ⋅ e−ασ ( x2 − x1 ) + Bσ (T ) ⋅ 1 − e−ασ ( x2 − x1 ) ( ) the first term is the Lambert-Beer law which gives the attenuation of the external source and the second term gives the emission of the local source.

Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . the simultaneous application of more than one complication is only an analytical problem. These will be individually considered. non-LTE. variable medium.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING The Complications The modelling of radiative transfer is made more complicated by : • • • scattering.Bruno Carli 12 .

Bruno Carli 13 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Scattering In presence of scattering: µσ = ασ gas + sσ gas + ασ aerosol + sσ aerosol = ασ + sσ the differential equation is equal to: dIσ = −ασ ⋅ Iσ − sσ ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ Bσ (T ) + sσ ⋅ Jσ dx loss gain Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

Bruno Carli 14 . the amplitude of the scattered intensity ∆Iσout(Ω) in each direction Ω is measured by the scattering phase function pσ(Ω): ∆Iσ out (Ω ) = sσ ⋅ pσ (Ω ) ⋅ Iσ ⋅ ∆x with: ∫ pσ (Ω)⋅dΩ = 1 ∆Iσ out (Ω ) ⋅ dΩ = ∫ sσ ⋅ pσ (Ω ) ⋅ Iσ ⋅ dΩ ⋅ ∆x = sσ ⋅ Iσ ⋅ ∆x ∫ Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Scattering ∆Iσ out (Ω ) Loss For each path ∆ x.

Bruno Carli 15 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Scattering ∆Iσ in (Ω ) Gain The amplitude of the intensity ∆ Iσin(Ω) scattered into the beam from each direction Ω is measured by the scattering phase function pσ(Ω): ∆Iσ in (Ω ) = sσ ⋅ pσ (Ω ) ⋅ Iσ (Ω ) ⋅ ∆x The total contribution is equal to: ∆Iσ in (Ω ) ⋅ dΩ = ∫ sσ ⋅ pσ (Ω ) ⋅ Iσ (Ω ) ⋅ dΩ ⋅ ∆x = sσ ⋅ Jσ ⋅ ∆x ∫ where the source function Jσ is defined as: Jσ = ∫ pσ (Ω ) ⋅ Iσ (Ω ) ⋅ dΩ def Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

the attenuation from x1 to x ) . Homogeneous Scattering Medium • x1 • x • x2 This can be formally obtained multiplying both terms of the differential equation by exp[ασ+s(x¯x1)] (i.Bruno Carli 16 .e. ασ s ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) −1 ⋅ Bσ (T ) + ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) −1 ⋅ Jσ (ασ + s) (ασ + s) ασ s e(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ (x2 ) = Iσ ( x1 ) + ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) −1 ⋅ Bσ (T ) + ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) −1 ⋅ Jσ (ασ + s) (ασ + s) ασ s Iσ (x2 ) = Iσ (x1 ) ⋅ e−(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) + ⋅ 1 − e−(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) ⋅ Bσ (T ) + ⋅ 1 − e−(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) ⋅ Jσ (ασ + s) (ασ + s) e(ασ + s)(x2 − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ (x2 ) − Iσ (x1 ) = [ [ [ ] ] ] [ [ [ ] ] ] Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Analytical Solution of the Integral Equation The differential equation is at point x and we want to obtain the integral from x1 and x2 . dI e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ σ = −(ασ + s) ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ Bσ (T ) + sσ ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ Jσ dx dIσ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ + (ασ + s) ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ Iσ = ασ ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ Bσ (T ) + s ⋅ e(ασ + s)(x − x1 ) ⋅ Jσ dx α d (ασ + s)(x − x1 ) d (ασ + s)(x − x1 ) s d (ασ + s)(x − x1 ) [e ⋅ Iσ ] = σ [e ] ⋅ Bσ (T ) + [e ] ⋅ Jσ ασ + s dx ασ + s dx dx An expression is obtained that can be integrated from x1 to x2.

Bruno Carli 17 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Scattering Therefore. in presence of scattering the differential equation of radiative transfer is : dIσ = −(ασ + sσ ) ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ Bσ (T ) + sσ ⋅ Jσ dx and the solution over an homogeneous path from x1 to x2 is equal to: α ⋅ B (T ) + sσ ⋅ Jσ Iσ ( x2 ) = Iσ ( x1 ) ⋅ e − (ασ + sσ )⋅( x2 − x1 ) + σ σ ⋅ 1 − e − (ασ + sσ )⋅( x2 − x1 ) (ασ + sσ ) ( ) Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

Bruno Carli 18 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Relative contributions dIσ = −(ασ + sσ ) ⋅ Iσ + ασ ⋅ Bσ (T ) + sσ ⋅ Jσ dx Thermal radiation Sun Moon Planet Atmosphere Sun Earth/atmosphere Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

Bruno Carli 19 . Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING LTE Radiative transfer is an exchange of energy between the radiation field and the energy levels of molecules and atoms (which are defined by the Boltzman temperature). When an equilibrium exists between the radiation field and the local black-body emission no energy exchange and no radiative transfer occur. Of course LTE does not imply a complete equilibrium that includes the radiation field. We are in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) when the Boltzman temperature is in equilibrium with the kinetic temperature.

When the collisions are not frequent enough the Boltzman temperature can be different from the kinetic temperature and we are in non-LTE conditions.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Non-LTE The Boltzman temperature is controlled by chemical reaction.Bruno Carli 20 . Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . When in non-LTE conditions we must consider the different components of the medium and define for each of them their individual temperature T(i) and absorption coefficient ασ(i). radiation absorption and thermal collisions.

the differential equation of radiative transfer equation is : dIσ = −∑ ασ (i ) ⋅ Iσ + ∑ ασ (i ) ⋅ Bσ (T (i ) ) dx i i and the solution over a path from x1 to x2 is equal to: Iσ (x2 ) = Iσ (x1 ) ⋅ e −∑i ασ (i ) ( x2 − x1 ) (i) (i) ∑i ασ Bσ (T ) ⎛ −∑i ασ (i ) ( x2 − x1 ) ⎞ + ⋅ ⎜1 − e ⎟ (i) ⎝ ⎠ ∑i ασ Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 21 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Non-LTE In the case of non-LTE conditions.

In general.Bruno Carli 22 . Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . for a non-homogeneous medium the differential equation cannot be analytically integrated.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Non-homogeneous Medium When the optical and physical properties of the medium are not constant along the optical path. the absorption coefficient ασ(x) and the local temperature T(x) depend on the variable of integration x.

Bruno Carli . L ) 0 Bσ (T ( x ))e −τ σ ( x. L ) dτ σ Emission term Absorption term “Optical depth” τ σ ( x.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Integral equation of Radiative Transfer non-homogeneous medium Intensity of the background source “Transmittance” between 0 and L “Transmittance” between l and L I σ ( L ) = Iσ ( 0) e Spectral intensity observed at L −τ σ (0. L) = ∫ ασ ( x' ) dx' x 23 L Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . L ) +∫ τ σ ( 0.

T ) ⋅ 1 − e −σ σ (l )∆ (l ) ⋅ ⎜ ∏ e σ ⎟ ⎜ l =1 ⎠ ⎝ k =l +1 N ( ) Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Discrete calculation of Radiative Transfer integral This integral is numerically performed as: ⎛ N −α (l )∆ (l ) ⎞ ⎟+ Iσ (L ) = Iσ (0 ) ⋅ ⎜ ∏ e σ ⎟ ⎜ ⎠ ⎝ l =1 ⎛ N −α (k )∆ (k ) ⎞ ⎟ + ∑ Bσ (l .Bruno Carli 24 .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Tree of operations for discrete calculation segmentation The optical path is divided in a set of contiguous segments in which the path is straight and the atmosphere has constant properties (segmentation). Segments of the optical path ∆ (l ) = xl − xl −1 Spectral intensity observed at L ⎛ N −α (l )∆ (l ) ⎞ N ⎟ + ∑ Bσ (l . T ) ⋅ 1 − e −σ σ (l )∆ (l ) Iσ (L ) = Iσ (0 ) ⋅ ⎜ ∏ e σ ⎟ ⎜ ⎠ l =1 ⎝ l =1 ( ) ⎛ N −α (k )∆ (k ) ⎞ ⎟ ⋅⎜ ∏e σ ⎟ ⎜ ⎠ ⎝ k = l +1 In each segment the absorption coefficient is also calculated.Bruno Carli 25 . Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

l )Χ(m. Tl ) A(m.i . Tl . T ) ⋅ 1 − e −σ σ (l )∆ (l ) Iσ (L ) = Iσ (0 ) ⋅ ⎜ ∏ e σ ⎟ ⎜ ⎠ l =1 ⎝ l =1 ( ) ⎛ N −α (k )∆ (k ) ⎞ ⎟ ⋅⎜ ∏e σ ⎟ ⎜ ⎠ ⎝ k = l +1 Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 26 . σ − σ m. i. l ) Spectral intensity observed at L ⎛ N −α (l )∆ (l ) ⎞ N ⎟ + ∑ Bσ (l . l ) = lines i =1 ∑ S (m. pl ) “Volume Mixing Ratio” “number density” “Absorption coefficient” ασ (l ) = η (l ) molec m =1 ∑ kσ (m. i.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Tree of operations for discrete calculation absorption coefficient “Line strength” “Line shape” “Cross section” kσ (m.

When the beam crosses a gradient of density it bends towards the higher density. The refractive index depends on the composition of the gas. radiation is subject to refraction and the refractive index of a gas is different from that of vacuum. radiative transfer occurs along a straight line and preserves images. Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . However. but is in general proportional to the gas density.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path In general.Bruno Carli 27 .

Bruno Carli 28 . the air density increases with decreasing altitude. A line of sight close to the limb view is subject to a curvature that is concave towards the Earth.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path Limb View In an atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium. Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical path • Use of Snell’s law for optical ray tracing in the atmosphere n(r2 ) ⋅ sin θ 2 = n(r1 ) ⋅ sin γ Invariant for spherical geometry: ri ⋅ sin θ i = const Optical invariant for spherical geometry: ri ⋅ n(ri ) ⋅ sin θ i = const Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 29 .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path Mirages Mirages are multiple images formed by atmospheric refraction.Bruno Carli 30 . Several types of mirages are possible. A mirage can only occur below the astronomical horizon. when a reflection-like image appears below the “normal” image • the superior mirage. when a reflection-like image appears above the “normal” image. the main ones are: • the inferior mirage. Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path Inferior Mirage The inferior mirage occurs when the surface of the Earth. heated by the Sun. Grazing rays bend back up into the denser air above: Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . produces a layer of hot air of lower density just at the surface.Bruno Carli 31 .

Bruno Carli 32 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path Inferior Mirage Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

Bruno Carli 33 . Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path Superior Mirage The superior mirage requires a more complex atmospheric structure with a cold and high density layer at some altitude above the surface.

Bruno Carli 34 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Optical Path Superior Mirage Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . Now beautiful pictures of the green flash can be found on the web. until the observation of the more rare event of a green flash at sunrise over the Adriatic sea.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING The Green Flash In 1700 several scientists reported the observation of a green flash just after sunset. The green flash was forgotten for about 50 years. Newton had just discovered the complementarity of colours and gave a quick explanation of the green flash as an optical illusion. The observations were made over the Tirrhenian sea.Bruno Carli 35 .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING The Green Flash Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 36 .

Bruno Carli 37 .DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING The Green Flash Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING The Green Flash Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer .Bruno Carli 38 .

DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING The Green Flash At sunset and sunrise the Sun has an upper green rim due to the combined effect of diffusion and attenuation of blue light. At the folding point of a mirage. in which strong vertical stretching occurs. The green rim is normally too narrow to be seen without optical aid. This broadens the green rim into a feature wide enough to be seen. parallel to the horizon. Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . there is a zone of sky.Bruno Carli 39 .

but also intensity variations. causes small movements of the line of sight. The presence of a variable atmosphere.DRAGON ADVANCED TRAINING COURSE IN ATMOSPHERE REMOTE SENSING Scintillations The refractive index causes not only image distortions. The scintallations are the intensity variations observed as a function of time for a point source.Bruno Carli 40 . which in the case of a point source also generate intensity variations. Day 2 Lecture 2 Basics about radiative transfer . These movements introduce a stretching and squeezing of the image. because of either the turbulence of air or the movement of the line of sight.

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