Electromagnetic backscattering from a sparse distribution of lossy dielectric particles having random orientation and position is studied. The paper begins by using the Foldy approximation to find an equation for the mean field. From this equation, an effective permittivity for the scattering medium is obtained. The correlation of the scattered field is found by employing the distorted Born approximation, i.e., particles embedded in the effective medium are assumed to be single scatterers. The above method is then used to find the backscattering coefficients from a leaf canopy. The leaf canopy is modeled by a half space of dielectric discs that are small in comparison to a wavelength. Numerical results show that the depolarized cross section is a sensitive function of leaf inclination angle statistics.
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