Development and Testing of Major New Instrumentation for High Accuracy Measurement of Backscattering-bb and Total Scattering-b in Natural Waters
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The PIs request funding to develop a new instrumentation for the measurement of the backscattering coefficient bb and the total scattering b. The proposed work will lead to new instrumentation that will provide the first single direct measurement of bb without any a priori assumptions about the phase function. The combined bb and b meter will provide unparalleled accuracy in determining the optical scattering and backscattering coefficients. These are very important parameters for remote sensing and for in-water bio-optical applications. This relatively simple instrument can be expected to have a transformative impact on optical measurements in the ocean and will be able to shed new light on the nature and distribution of scattering particulates.Broader Impacts: The activity stands an excellent chance of producing instrumentation that will allow the discovery and exploration of new effects and increase our understanding. This instrumentation has the potential of being sufficiently compact reliable and low power to be used in autonomous underwater vehicles and diving drifting buoys. Operating this new instrument from such platforms will produce a flood of previously unavailable data whose analysis can be the subject of both under-graduate and graduate research work. Working with information at the edge of a field, such as the one that could be produced by this new system, is the best of teaching tools, extremely rewarding and a real self-confidence and self-esteem builder for students. In summary I fully concur with the impact statement in the proposal. The proposal includes funds for a postdoc, graduate student, and undergraduate student.