An Algorithm Using Visible and ${1.38-} mu{
m M}$ Channels to Retrieve Cirrus Cloud Reflectances From Aircraft and Satellite Data Academic Article uri icon


  • The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MODIS) on the Terra Spacecraft has a channel near 1.38 μm for remote sensing of high clouds from space. The implementation of this channel on MODIS was primarily based on previous analysis of hyperspectral imaging data collected with the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS). In this paper, we describe an algorithm to retrieve cirrus bidirectional reflectance using channels near 0.66 and 1.38 μm. It is shown that the apparent reflectance of the 1.38-μm channel is essentially the bidirectional reflectance of cirrus clouds attenuated by the absorption of water vapor above cirrus clouds. A practical algorithm based on the scatterplot of 1.38-μm channel apparent reflectance versus 0.66-μm channel apparent reflectance has been developed to scale the effect of water vapor absorption so that the true cirrus reflectance in the visible spectral region can be obtained. To illustrate the applicability of the present algorithm, results for cirrus reflectance retrievals from AVIRIS and MODIS data are shown. The derived cirrus reflectance in the spectral region of 0.4-1 μm can be used to remove cirrus contamination in a satellite image obtained at a visible channel. An example of such application is shown. The spatially averaged cirrus reflectances derived from MODIS data can be used to establish global cirrus climatology, as is demonstrated by a sample global cirrus reflectance image.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Gao, B., Yang, P., Han, W., Li, R., & Wiscombe, W. J.

citation count

  • 107

publication date

  • August 2002