Emission from an inhomogeneous layer with irregular interfaces


  • A. K. Fung,

  • M. F. Chen


A theoretical model for microwave emission from an inhomogeneous layer has been developed using the radiative transfer method. The top and bottom boundaries of the layer are assumed to be randomly rough surfaces, and the scatter characteristics are assumed to be describable by the Kirchhoff scatter model. The presence of an irregular top boundary is found to cause a slower angular trend than the case of a plane layer and causes, in addition, a rise in temperature if the layer permittivity is large. On the other hand, if only the bottom boundary of the layer is rough, a rise in emission is observed relative to the plane layer. When both the top and the bottom boundaries are rough, the emissions at small nadir angles are closer to those of a layer with a rough bottom boundary, and the emissions at large nadir angles are closer to those of a layer with a rough top boundary. A comparison of the layer model with reported angular measurements from a snow layer at three different frequencies and polarizations shows promise for such a model. An additional comparison of emission versus the depth of a snow pile indicates that an irregular snow ground interface causes higher emissions at small depths. This fact is necessary to explain the observed measurements.