This thesis explores the spectral emissivity of particulate materials on planetary surfaces through theoretical modeling and supporting laboratory and field investigations. In the first part of the thesis, I develop a Monte Carlo ray tracing model to calculate the directional and spectral emissivity and the polarization state of the radiation emitted from a particulate, isothermal surface for emission angles 0^circ-90^ circ and wavelengths 7-16 mu m. The results show that roughness and scattering significantly affect the character of the emitted radiation field and should be taken into account when interpreting the physical properties of a planetary surface from IR spectrophotometry or spectropolarimetry. The remainder of the thesis focuses on understanding near-surface thermal gradients and their effects on emission spectra for different planetary environments. These gradients are formed by radiative cooling in the top few hundred microns of low conductivity particulate materials on planetary surfaces with little or no atmosphere. I model the heat transfer by conduction and radiation in the top few millimeters of a planetary regolith for scattering and non-scattering media. In conjunction with the modeling, I measure emission spectra of fine-grained quartz in an environment chamber designed to simulate the conditions on other planetary surfaces. The results show that significant thermal gradients will form in the near surface of materials on the surface of the Moon and Mercury. Their presence increases spectral contrast and creates emission maxima in the transparent regions of the spectrum. Thermal gradients are shown to be responsible for the observed wavelength shifts of the Christiansen emission peak with variations in thermal conductivity and grain size. The results are also used to analyze recent telescopic spectra of the Moon and Mercury and can explain certain features seen in those data. Thermal gradients are shown to be minor for the surface of Mars and negligible on Earth. I conclude that the spectral effects created by near-surface thermal gradients are predictable and might even provide an extra source of information about the physical nature of a planetary surface, and mid-IR emission spectroscopy should therefore prove to be useful for remote sensing of airless bodies.
- Pub Date:
- January 1995
- Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics: Optics, Mineralogy, Remote Sensing