Albedo-Ice Regression method for determining ice water content of polar mesospheric clouds using ultraviolet observations from space

Thomas, Gary E.; Lumpe, Jerry; Bardeen, Charles; Randall, Cora E.

High spatial resolution images of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) from a camera array on board the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite have been obtained since 2007. The Cloud Imaging and Particle Size Experiment (CIPS) detects scattered ultraviolet (UV) radiance at a variety of scattering angles, allowing the scattering phase function to be measured for every image pixel. With well-established scattering theory, the mean particle size and ice water content (IWC) are derived. In the nominal mode of operation, approximately seven scattering angles are measured per cloud pixel. However, because of a change in the orbital geometry in 2016, a new mode of operation was implemented such that one scattering angle, or at most two, per pixel are now available. Thus particle size and IWC can no longer be derived from the standard CIPS algorithm. The Albedo-Ice Regression (AIR) method was devised to overcome this obstacle. Using data from both a microphysical model and from CIPS in its normal mode, we show that the AIR method provides sufficiently accurate average IWC so that PMC IWC can be retrieved from CIPS data into the future, even when albedo is not measured at multiple scattering angles. We also show from the model that 265 nm UV scattering is sensitive only to ice particle sizes greater than about 20–25 nm in (effective) radius and that the operational CIPS algorithm has an average error in retrieving IWC of -13±17 %.

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Thomas, Gary E. / Lumpe, Jerry / Bardeen, Charles / et al: Albedo-Ice Regression method for determining ice water content of polar mesospheric clouds using ultraviolet observations from space. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Gary E. Thomas et al.

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