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An Interplay between Photons, Canopy Structure, and Recollision Probability: A Review of the Spectral Invariants Theory of 3D Canopy Radiative Transfer Processes

1
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
2
School of Natural Sciences, California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA 93955, USA
3
Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
4
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
5
Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
6
Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(11), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10111805
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 14 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiative Transfer Modelling and Applications in Remote Sensing)
Earth observations collected by remote sensors provide unique information to our ever-growing knowledge of the terrestrial biosphere. Yet, retrieving information from remote sensing data requires sophisticated processing and demands a better understanding of the underlying physics. This paper reviews research efforts that lead to the developments of the stochastic radiative transfer equation (RTE) and the spectral invariants theory. The former simplifies the characteristics of canopy structures with a pair-correlation function so that the 3D information can be succinctly packed into a 1D equation. The latter indicates that the interactions between photons and canopy elements converge to certain invariant patterns quantifiable by a few wavelength independent parameters, which satisfy the law of energy conservation. By revealing the connections between plant structural characteristics and photon recollision probability, these developments significantly advance our understanding of the transportation of radiation within vegetation canopies. They enable a novel physically-based algorithm to simulate the “hot-spot” phenomenon of canopy bidirectional reflectance while conserving energy, a challenge known to the classic radiative transfer models. Therefore, these theoretical developments have a far-reaching influence in optical remote sensing of the biosphere. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation remote sensing; stochastic radiative transfer equation; spectral invariants theory vegetation remote sensing; stochastic radiative transfer equation; spectral invariants theory
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, W.; Nemani, R.; Hashimoto, H.; Ganguly, S.; Huang, D.; Knyazikhin, Y.; Myneni, R.; Bala, G. An Interplay between Photons, Canopy Structure, and Recollision Probability: A Review of the Spectral Invariants Theory of 3D Canopy Radiative Transfer Processes. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1805.

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