The HydroLight radiative transfer numerical model computes radiance distributions and related quantities (irradiances, reflectances, diffuse attenuation functions, etc.) in any water body.
Users can specify the water absorption and scattering properties, the sky conditions, and the bottom boundary conditions in various ways, e.g., by selection of built-in bio-optical and sky models, by reading in user-supplied data, or by writing their own Fortran subroutines to define their input. HydroLight then solves the scalar radiative transfer equation (RTE) to compute the in-water radiance as a function of depth, direction, and wavelength. Other quantities of interest to optical oceanographers, such as the water-leaving radiance and remote-sensing reflectance, are also obtained from the computed radiances. Output is presented as ASCII (printout) files, as Excel® spreadsheets, and as digital files formatted for plotting and analysis using IDL® or other graphics programs.