This paper presents a simple radiative transfer model based on spectral invariant properties (SIP). The canopy structure parameters, including the leaf angle distribution and multi-angular clumping index, are explicitly described in the SIP model. The SIP model has been evaluated on its bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF) in the angular space at the radiation transfer model intercomparison platform, and in the spectrum space by the PROSPECT+SAIL (PROSAIL) model. The simulations of BRF by SIP agreed well with the reference values in both the angular space and spectrum space, with a root-mean-square-error (RMSE) of 0.006. When compared with the widely-used Soil-Canopy Observation of Photochemistry and Energy fluxes (SCOPE) model on fPAR, the RMSE was 0.006 and the R2
was 0.99, which shows a high accuracy. This study also suggests the newly proposed vegetation index, the near-infrared (NIR) reflectance of vegetation (NIRv), was a good linear approximation of the canopy structure parameter, the directional area scattering factor (DASF), with an R2
of 0.99. NIRv was not influenced much by the soil background contribution, but was sensitive to the leaf inclination angle. The sensitivity of NIRv to canopy structure and the robustness of NIRv to the soil background suggest NIRv is a promising index in future biophysical variable estimations with the support of the SIP model, especially for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) observations near the hot spot directions.
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