Scattering effects from microtopographic surface roughness are merely nonparaxial diffraction phenomena resulting from random phase variations in the reflected or transmitted wavefront. Rayleigh-Rice, Beckmann-Kirchhoff. or Harvey-Shack surface scatter theories are commonly used to predict surface scatter effects. Smooth-surface and/or paraxial approximations have severely limited the range of applicability of each of the above theoretical treatments. A recent linear systems formulation of nonparaxial scalar diffraction theory applied to surface scatter phenomena resulted first in an empirically modified Beckmann-Kirchhoff surface scatter model, then a generalized Harvey-Shack theory that produces accurate results for rougher surfaces than the Rayleigh-Rice theory and for larger incident and scattered angles than the classical Beckmann-Kirchhoff and the original Harvey-Shack theories. These new developments simplify the analysis and understanding of nonintuitive scattering behavior from rough surfaces illuminated at arbitrary incident angles.
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