28 January 2008 Polar stratospheric cloud visualization: volume reconstruction from intersecting curvilinear cross sections
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The CALIPSO satellite launched by NASA in 2006 uses an on-board LIDAR instrument to measure the vertical distribution of clouds and aerosols along the orbital path. This satellite's dense vertical sampling of the atmosphere provides previously unavailable information about the altitude and composition of clouds, including the polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) that play an important role in the annual formation of polar ozone holes. Reconstruction of cloud surfaces through interpolation of CALIPSO data is challenging due to the sparsity of the data in the non-vertical dimensions and the complex sampling pattern created by intersecting non-planar orbital paths. This paper presents a method for computing cloud surfaces by reconstructing a continuous cloud surface distance field. The distance field reconstruction is performed via shape-based interpolation of the cloud contours on each cross section using a medial axis representation of each contour. The interpolation algorithm employs a projection operator that is defined in terms of (latitude, longitude, altitude) coordinates, so that projection between cross sections follows the earth's curved atmosphere and preserves cloud altitude. This process successfully interpolated cloud contours from CALIPSO data acquired during the 2006 polar winter and enabled three-dimensional visualization of the PSCs.
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Jessica R. Crouch, Jessica R. Crouch, Chris Weigle, Chris Weigle, Jonathan Gleason, Jonathan Gleason, Yuzhong Shen, Yuzhong Shen, } "Polar stratospheric cloud visualization: volume reconstruction from intersecting curvilinear cross sections", Proc. SPIE 6809, Visualization and Data Analysis 2008, 68090I (28 January 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.765939; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.765939

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