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We present a theory for the multiple scattering of light by obstacles situated over a rough surface. This problem is important for applications in biological and chemical sensors. To keep the formulation of this theory simple, we study scalar waves. This theory requires knowledge of the scattering operator (t-matrix) for each of the obstacles as well as the reflection operator for the rough surface. The scattering operator gives the field scattered by the obstacle due to an exciting fielddoi:10.1364/josaa.27.001002 pmid:20448766 fatcat:h4z4bisfdba25nzyzlemhhbktu