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Cloud information content analysis of multi-angular measurements in the oxygen A-band: application to 3MI and MSPI

Merlin, G., Riedi, J., Labonnote, L. C., Cornet, C., Davis, A. B., Dubuisson, P., Desmons, M., Ferlay, N. and Parol, F. (2015) Cloud information content analysis of multi-angular measurements in the oxygen A-band: application to 3MI and MSPI. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions, 8 (12). pp. 12709-12758. ISSN 1867-8610

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/amtd-8-12709-2015


The vertical distribution of cloud cover has a significant impact on a large number of meteorological and climatic processes. Cloud top altitude and cloud geometrical thickness are then essential. Previous studies established the possibility of retrieving those parameters from multi-angular oxygen A-band measurements. Here we perform a study and comparison of the performances of future instruments. The 3MI (Multi-angle, Multi-channel and Multi-polarization Imager) instrument developed by EUMETSAT, which is an extension of the POLDER/PARASOL instrument, and MSPI (Multi-angles Spectro-Polarimetric Imager) develoloped by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will measure total and polarized light reflected by the Earth's atmosphere–surface system in several spectral bands (from UV to SWIR) and several viewing geometries. Those instruments should provide opportunities to observe the links between the cloud structures and the anisotropy of the reflected solar radiation into space. Specific algorithms will need be developed in order to take advantage of the new capabilities of this instrument. However, prior to this effort, we need to understand, through a theoretical Shannon information content analysis, the limits and advantages of these new instruments for retrieving liquid and ice cloud properties, and especially, in this study, the amount of information coming from the A-Band channel on the cloud top altitude (CTOP) and geometrical thickness (CGT). We compare the information content of 3MI A-Band in two configurations and that of MSPI. Quantitative information content estimates show that the retrieval of CTOP with a high accuracy is possible in almost all cases investigated. The retrieval of CGT seems less easy but possible for optically thick clouds above a black surface, at least when CGT > 1–2 km.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:59395
Publisher:European Geosciences Union


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