“Albedo dome”: a method for measuring spectral flux-reflectance in a laboratory for media with long optical paths
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A method is presented for accurate measurement of spectral flux-reflectance (albedo) in a laboratory, for media with long optical path lengths, such as snow and ice. The approach uses an acrylic hemispheric dome, which, when placed over the surface being studied, serves two functions: (i) it creates an overcast “sky” to illuminate the target surface from all directions within a hemisphere, and (ii) serves as a platform for measuring incident and backscattered spectral radiances, which can be integrated to obtain fluxes. The fluxes are relative measurements and because their ratio is used to determine flux-reflectance, no absolute radiometric calibrations are required. The dome and surface must meet minimum size requirements based on the scattering properties of the surface. This technique is suited for media with long photon path lengths since the backscattered illumination is collected over a large enough area to include photons that reemerge from the domain far from their point of entry because of multiple scattering and small absorption. Comparison between field and laboratory albedo of a portable test surface demonstrates the viability of this method.