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multi-spectral cloud retrievals from moderate image spectrometer (modis)MODIS observations from the NASA EOS Terra spacecraft (1030 local time equatorial sun-synchronous crossing) launched in December 1999 have provided a unique set of Earth observation data. With the launch of the NASA EOS Aqua spacecraft (1330 local time crossing! in May 2002: two MODIS daytime (sunlit) and nighttime observations are now available in a 24-hour period allowing some measure of diurnal variability. A comprehensive set of remote sensing algorithms for cloud masking and the retrieval of cloud physical and optical properties has been developed by members of the MODIS atmosphere science team. The archived products from these algorithms have applications in climate modeling, climate change studies, numerical weather prediction, as well as fundamental atmospheric research. In addition to an extensive cloud mask, products include cloud-top properties (temperature, pressure, effective emissivity), cloud thermodynamic phase, cloud optical and microphysical parameters (optical thickness, effective particle radius, water path), as well as derived statistics. An overview of the instrument and cloud algorithms will be presented along with various examples, including an initial analysis of several operational global gridded (Level-3) cloud products from the two platforms. Statistics of cloud optical and microphysical properties as a function of latitude for land and Ocean regions will be shown. Current algorithm research efforts will also be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Platnick, Steven
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Meteorology and Climatology
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.