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Journal Article
Kahn, BH, Irion FW, Dang VT, Manning EM, Nasiri SL, Naud CM, Blaisdell JM, Schreier MM, Yue Q, Bowman KW, Fetzer EJ, Hulley GC, Liou KN, Lubin D, Ou SC, Susskind J, Takano Y, Tian B, Worden JR.  2014.  The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder version 6 cloud products. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14:399-426.   10.5194/acp-14-399-2014   AbstractWebsite

The version 6 cloud products of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) instrument suite are described. The cloud top temperature, pressure, and height and effective cloud fraction are now reported at the AIRS field-of-view (FOV) resolution. Significant improvements in cloud height assignment over version 5 are shown with FOV-scale comparisons to cloud vertical structure observed by the CloudSat 94 GHz radar and the Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP). Cloud thermodynamic phase (ice, liquid, and unknown phase), ice cloud effective diameter (D-e), and ice cloud optical thickness (tau) are derived using an optimal estimation methodology for AIRS FOVs, and global distributions for 2007 are presented. The largest values of tau are found in the storm tracks and near convection in the tropics, while D-e is largest on the equatorial side of the midlatitude storm tracks in both hemispheres, and lowest in tropical thin cirrus and the winter polar atmosphere. Over the Maritime Continent the diurnal variability of tau is significantly larger than for the total cloud fraction, ice cloud frequency, and D-e, and is anchored to the island archipelago morphology. Important differences are described between northern and southern hemispheric midlatitude cyclones using storm center composites. The infrared-based cloud retrievals of AIRS provide unique, decadal-scale and global observations of clouds over portions of the diurnal and annual cycles, and capture variability within the mesoscale and synoptic scales at all latitudes.

Xiong, XZ, Storvold R, Stamnes K, Lubin D.  2004.  Derivation of a threshold function for the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer 3.75 mu m channel and its application in automatic cloud discrimination over snow/ice surfaces. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 25:2995-3017.   10.1080/01431160310001619553   AbstractWebsite

The distinct contrast between the reflectance of solar radiation in Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) channel 3 (3.75 mum) by clouds and by bright surfaces provides an effective means of cloud discrimination over snow/ice surfaces. A threshold function for the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) albedo in channel 3 (r(3)) is derived and used to develop an improved method for cloud discrimination over snow/ice surfaces that makes explicit use of TOA r(3) . Corrections for radiance anisotropy and temperature effects are required to derive accurate values of r(3) from satellite measurements and to utilize the threshold function. It has been used to retrieve cloud cover fractions from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-14 AVHRR data over the Arctic Ocean and over the North Slope of Alaska (NSA) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in Barrow, Alaska. The retrieved cloud fractions are in good agreement with SHEBA (Surface HEat Budget of the Arctic Ocean) surface visual observations and with NSA cloud radar and lidar observations, respectively. This method can be utilized to improve cloud discrimination over snow/ice surfaces for any satellite sensor with a channel near 3.7 mum.

Podgorny, I, Lubin D, Perovich DK.  2018.  Monte Carlo study of UAV-measurable albedo over Arctic Sea ice. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 35:57-66.   10.1175/jtech-d-17-0066.1   AbstractWebsite

In anticipation that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will have a useful role in atmospheric energy budget studies over sea ice, a Monte Carlo model is used to investigate three-dimensional radiative transfer over a highly inhomogeneous surface albedo involving open water, sea ice, and melt ponds. The model simulates the spatial variability in 550-nm downwelling irradiance and albedo that a UAV would measure above this surface and underneath an optically thick, horizontally homogeneous cloud. At flight altitudes higher than 100 m above the surface, an airborne radiometer will sample irradiances that are greatly smoothed horizontally as a result of photon multiple reflection. If one is interested in sampling the local energy budget contrasts between specific surface types, then the UAV must fly at a low altitude, typically within 20 m of the surface. Spatial upwelling irradiance variability in larger open water features, on the order of 1000 m wide, will remain apparent as high as 500 m above the surface. To fully investigate the impact of surface feature variability on the energy budget of the lower troposphere ice-ocean system, a UAV needs to fly at a variety of altitudes to determine how individual features contribute to the area-average albedo.

Lubin, D, Li W, Dustan P, Mazel CH, Stamnes K.  2001.  Spectral signatures of coral reefs: Features from space. Remote Sensing of Environment. 75:127-137.   10.1016/s0034-4257(00)00161-9   AbstractWebsite

The special signatures of coral reefs and related scenes, as they would be measured above the Earth's atmosphere, are calculated using a coupled atmosphere-ocean discrete ordinates radiative transfer model. Actual measured reflectance spectra from field work are used as input data. Four coral species are considered, to survey the natural range of coral reflectance: Montastrea cavernosa, Acropora palmata, Dichocoenia stokesii, and Siderastrea siderea. Four noncoral objects associated with reefs are also considered: sand, coralline algae, green macroalgae, and algal turf. The reflectance spectra as would be measured at the top of the atmosphere are substantially different from the in situ spectra, due to differential attenuation by the water column and, most importantly, by atmospheric Rayleigh scattering. The result is that many of the spectral features that can be used to distinguish coral species from their surroundings or from one another, which have been used successfully with surface or aircraft data, would be obscured in spectral measurements from a spacecraft. However, above the atmosphere, the radiance contrasts between most coral species and most brighter noncoral objects remain noticeable for water column depths up to 20 m. Over many spectral intervals, the reflectance from dark coral under shallow water is smaller than that of deep water. The maximum top-of-atmosphere radiances, and maximum contrasts between scene types, occur between 400 nm and 600 nm. This study supports the conclusions of recent satellite reef mapping exercises, suggesting that coral reef identification should be feasible using satellite remote sensing, but that detailed reef mapping (e.g., species identification) may be more difficult. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 2001.

Xiong, XZ, Stamnes K, Lubin D.  2002.  Surface albedo over the Arctic Ocean derived from AVHRR and its validation with SHEBA data. Journal of Applied Meteorology. 41:413-425.   10.1175/1520-0450(2002)041<0413:saotao>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

A method is presented for retrieving the broadband albedo over the Arctic Ocean using advanced very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) data obtained from NOAA polar-orbiting satellites. Visible and near-infrared albedos over snow and ice surfaces are retrieved from AVHRR channels 1 and 2, respectively, and the broadband shortwave albedo is derived through narrow-to-broadband conversion (NTBC). It is found that field measurements taken under different conditions yield different NTBC coefficients. Model simulations over snow and ice surfaces based on rigorous radiative transfer theory support this finding. The lack of a universal set of NTBC coefficients implies a 5%-10% error in the retrieved broadband albedo. An empirical formula is derived for converting albedo values from AVHRR channels 1 and 2 into a broadband albedo under different snow and ice surface conditions. Uncertain calibration of AVHRR channels 1 and 2 is the largest source of uncertainty, and an error of 5% in satellite-measured radiance leads to an error of 5%-10% in the retrieved albedo. NOAA-14 AVHRR data obtained over the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) ice camp are used to derive the seasonal variation of the surface albedo over the Arctic Ocean between April and August of 1998. Comparison with surface measurements of albedo by Perovich and others near the SHEBA ice camp shows very good agreement. On average, the retrieval error of albedo from AVHRR is 5%-10%.

Lubin, D.  2004.  Thermodynamic phase of maritime Antarctic clouds from FTIR and supplementary radiometric data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 109   10.1029/2003jd003979   AbstractWebsite

A Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroradiometer was deployed at Palmer Station, Antarctica, from 1 September to 17 November 1991. This instrument is similar to the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) deployed with the U. S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program. The instrument measured downwelling zenith radiance in the spectral interval 400 2000 cm(-1), at a resolution of 1 cm(-1). The spectral radiance measurements, which can be expressed as spectral brightness temperature T-b(nu), contain information about cloud optical properties in the middle infrared window (800-1200 cm(-1) 1, 8.3-12.5 mm). In this study, this information is exploited to (1) provide additional characterization of Antarctic cloud radiative properties, and (2) demonstrate how multisensor analysis of ARM data can potentially retrieve cloud thermodynamic phase. Radiative transfer simulations demonstrate how T-b(nu) is a function of cloud optical depth tau, effective particle radius r(e), and thermodynamic phase. For typical values of tau and r(e), the effect of increasing the ice fraction of the total optical depth is to flatten the slope of T-b(nu) between 800 1000 cm(-1). For optically thin clouds (tau similar to 3) and larger ice particles (re(ice) > 50 mm) the behavior of T-b(nu) in this interval switches from a decrease with increasing wavenumber n to an increase with nu, once the ice fraction of the total optical depth exceeds similar to0.7. The FTIR spectra alone cannot be interpreted to obtain thermodynamic phase, because a relatively small slope in T-b(nu) between 800-1000 cm(-1) could represent either an optically thin cloud in the ice or mixed phase, or an optically thick cloud radiating as a blackbody. Sky observations and ancillary radiometric data are needed to sort the FTIR spectra into categories of small cloud optical depth, where the mid-IR window data can be interpreted; and larger cloud optical depth, where the FTIR data contain information only about cloud base temperature. Spectral solar ultraviolet (UV) irradiance measurements from the U. S. National Science Foundation's UV Monitor at Palmer Station are used to estimate area-averaged effective cloud optical depth tau(sw), and these estimates are used to sort the FTIR data. FTIR measurements with colocated tau(sw) < 16 are interpreted to estimate cloud thermodynamic phase. Precipitating cloud decks generally show flatter slopes in T-b(ν), consistent with the ice or mixed phase. Altostratus decks show a larger range in T-b(ν) slope than low cloud decks, including increasing slopes with ν, suggesting a more likely occurrence of the ice phase. This study illustrates how cloud thermodynamic phase can be defensibly retrieved from FTIR data if high quality shortwave radiometric data are also available to sort the FTIR measurements by cloud opacity, and both data types are available at the ARM sites.