Rassvet: Backward Monte Carlo radiative transfer in spherical-shell planetary atmospheres

Sergey L. Gratiy, Deborah A. Levin, Andrew C. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Validation of global numerical models of planetary atmospheres requires simulating images and spectra from the IR to UV spectral regions in order to compare them with remote observations. This paper describes Rassvet, a 3-D spherical-shell backward Monte Carlo radiative transfer model developed for such simulations. It utilizes a new methodology for calculating atmospheric brightness in scattered sunlight by introducing the concept of an "effective emission source". This allows for the accumulation of the scattered contribution along the entire path of a ray and the calculation of the atmospheric radiation when both scattered sunlight and thermal emission contribute to the remote measurement - which was not possible in previous models. A "polychromatic" algorithm is extended for applications with the backward Monte Carlo method and implemented in the model. It allows for the calculation of radiative intensity for several wavelengths simultaneously, resulting in improved efficiency. The capabilities of the model are demonstrated by simulating remote measurements from the atmosphere of Io.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-379
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Io
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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