The module NBSCAT (Narrow Beam Multiple Scattering) of EOSAEL92 is a multiple scattering propagation model applicable to narrow light beams transmitted through aerosol clouds. The module calculates the transmitted and backscattered irradiance profiles as functions of the field of view, and the on-axis transmitted power and lidar returns for specified receiver geometries. The algorithm is based on the radiative transfer model described by Bissonnette (1988) and validated against laboratory data as reported in Bissonnette, Smith et al. (1988a, 1988b).

The constitutive equations are derived from a paraxial approximation of the radiative transfer equation in which the flux normal to the incident beam axis is modeled by a diffusion process. It is applicable to narrow light beams and for observation points not too far from the beam axis. It is not restricted to small-angle scattering but the scattering coefficient must be small enough to insure that the forward spreading occurs over distances much greater than the beam diameter to satisfy the paraxial approximation. The model allows for inhomogeneities along the beam axis and the calculations require only modest computer memory and time.

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