Introduction to the LIDORT Family of Products

In the last thirty years, there has been increasing recognition of the need for radiative transfer models (RTMs) not only to produce simulated radiances but also to generate simultaneous fields of analytic radiance derivatives (Jacobians) with respect to atmospheric and surface variables. Such models are extremely useful in classic inverse-problem retrievals involving some kind of iterative least-squares minimization (with and without regularization). An RTM with this dual ability to generate radiances and Jacobians is often said to have the linearization capacity. A number of "linearized" RTMs have emerged in the last 20 years, and this includes the LIDORT (LInearized Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer) family of RT codes developed by Robert Spurr, the Director of RT Solutions.

It is well known that the use of scalar radiative transfer (neglecting polarization) can lead to considerable errors for modeling backscatter spectra, especially in the UV; for example, the treatment of polarization is critical for the successful retrieval of ozone profiles from UV backscatter. It has also been demonstrated that the use of passive sensing instruments with polarization capabilities can greatly enhance retrievals of aerosol information in the atmosphere. Satellite instruments such as GOME-2 and OCO (Orbital Carbon Observatory) are polarizing spectrometers; vector radiative transfer is an essential ingredient of the forward modeling component of the associated retrieval algorithms.

 

 

     

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