Cloud Studies using MODIS and MISR Datasets


Heidi Zeleznik
Department of Geology & Geophysics


The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) is a new instrument being flown on the TERRA spacecraft. This instrument is unique because it uses nine different cameras to view the earth from nine different angles. One of the important products that can be retrieved using this instrument is cloud height, which has an impact on the radiative effects of a cloud. We plan on comparing cloud heights obtained from MISR with cloud heights obtained in a more traditional manner using a MODIS thermal band.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS) is a multi-spectral instrument being flown on the TERRA and AQUA spacecraft. This SpectroRadiometer observes the earth in 36 electromagnetic bands. As previously noted, we will be using a thermal band to determine cloud heights by incorporating radiosonde data. This traditional technique for determining cloud heights will be used for comparison with the cloud heights determined using the new MISR instrument. We also plan on examining various cloud properties, such as cloud optical depth and cloud particle effective radius, which are both MODIS cloud products.

Specifically, we hope to be able to gain a better understanding of the relationship between cloud top temperatures and cloud particle properties so that we can better understand the convective processes involved in creating deep convective clouds.

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17 January 2003