A new technique for measuring the light field within sea ice has been devel
oped and deployed in first and multiyear ice. Portions of the radiance dist
ribution are determined by profiling a 3 degrees field-of-view radiance hea
d at a number of zenith and azimuth angles. Results from two sampling perio
ds conducted in 1995 are presented. We find that the radiance distribution
is not isotropic. The light field nearly reaches the asymptotic state withi
n the first 0.25 m, but small-scale ice structure prevents the asymptotic s
tate from being fully achieved. We use the nearly asymptotic radiance distr
ibution to estimate the inherent optical properties of the ice and find fai
r agreement with previously reported results. The spectral attenuation coef
ficients derived from the radiance measurements are in good agreement with
previously determined values. The influence of particulate inclusions on th
e attenuation spectrum is also demonstrated. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
All rights reserved.