A Remote Sensing and Atmospheric Correction Method for Assessing Multispectral Radiative Transfer through Realistic Atmospheres and Clouds

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The ability to quickly and accurately model actual atmospheric conditions is essential to remote sensing analyses. Clouds present a particularly complex challenge, as they cover up to 70% of Earth’s surface, and their highly variable and diverse nature necessitates physics-based modeling. The Laser Environmental Effects Definition and Reference (LEEDR) is a verified and validated atmospheric propagation and radiative transfer code that creates physically realizable vertical and horizontal profiles of meteorological data. Coupled with numerical weather prediction (NWP) model output, LEEDR enables analysis, nowcasts, and forecasts for radiative effects expected for real-world scenarios. A recent development is the inclusion of the U.S. Air Force’s World-Wide Merged Cloud Analysis (WWMCA) cloud data in a new tool set that enables radiance calculations through clouds from UV to radio frequency (RF) wavelengths. This effort details the creation of near-real-time profiles of atmospheric and cloud conditions and the resulting radiative transfer analysis for virtually any wavelength(s) of interest. Calendar year 2015 data are analyzed to establish climatological limits for diffuse transmission in the 300–1300-nm band, and the impacts of various geometry, cloud microphysical, and atmospheric conditions are examined. The results show that 80% of diffuse band transmissions are estimated to fall between 0.248 and 0.889 under the assumptions of cloud homogeneity and maximum overlap and are sufficient for establishing diffuse transmission percentiles. The demonstrated capability provides an efficient way to extend optical wavelength cloud parameters across the spectrum for physics-based multiple-scattering effects modeling through cloudy and clear atmospheres, providing an improvement to atmospheric correction for remote sensing and cloud effects on system performance metrics.
Abstract © American Meteorological Society.


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Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology