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31 October 2005 Detection and retrieval of multi-layered cloud properties using satellite data
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Four techniques for detecting multilayered clouds and retrieving the cloud properties using satellite data are explored to help address the need for better quantification of cloud vertical structure. A new technique was developed using multispectral imager data with secondary imager products (infrared brightness temperature differences, BTD). The other methods examined here use atmospheric sounding data (CO2-slicing, CO2), BTD, or microwave data. The CO2 and BTD methods are limited to optically thin cirrus over low clouds, while the MWR methods are limited to ocean areas only. This paper explores the use of the BTD and CO2 methods as applied to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer EOS (AMSR-E) data taken from the Aqua satellite over ocean surfaces. Cloud properties derived from MODIS data for the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Project are used to classify cloud phase and optical properties. The preliminary results focus on a MODIS image taken off the Uruguayan coast. The combined MW visible infrared (MVI) method is assumed to be the reference for detecting multilayered ice-over-water clouds. The BTD and CO2 techniques accurately match the MVI classifications in only 51 and 41% of the cases, respectively. Much additional study is need to determine the uncertainties in the MVI method and to analyze many more overlapped cloud scenes.
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Patrick Minnis, Sunny Sun-Mack, Yan Chen, Helen Yi, Jianping Huang, Louis Nguyen, and Mandana M. Khaiyer "Detection and retrieval of multi-layered cloud properties using satellite data", Proc. SPIE 5979, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere X, 597909 (31 October 2005);

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