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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-316
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-316
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Nov 2018

Research article | 13 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Cloud Products from the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC): Algorithms and Initial Evaluaiton

Yuekui Yang1, Kerry Meyer1, Galina Wind2,1, Yaping Zhou3,1, Alexander Marshak1, Steven Platnick1, Qilong Min4, Anthony B. Davis5, Joanna Joiner1, Alexander Vasilkov2, David Duda2,6, and Wenying Su6 Yuekui Yang et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
  • 2Science Systems and Applications Inc., Lanham, MD
  • 3Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
  • 4State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY
  • 5Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • 6NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA

Abstract. This paper presents the physical basis of the EPIC cloud product algorithms and an initial evaluation of their performance. Since June 2015, EPIC has been providing observations of the sunlit side of the Earth with its 10 spectral channels ranging from the UV to the near-IR. A suite of algorithms has been developed to generate the standard EPIC Level 2 Cloud Products that include cloud mask, cloud effective pressure/height, cloud optical thickness, etc. The EPIC cloud mask adopts the threshold method and utilizes multichannel observations and ratios as tests. Cloud effective pressure/height is derived with observations from the O2 A-band (780nm and 764nm), and B-band (680nm and 688nm) pairs. The EPIC cloud optical thickness retrieval adopts a single channel approach where the 780nm and 680nm channels are used for retrievals over ocean and over land, respectively. Comparison with co-located cloud retrievals from geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites shows that the EPIC cloud product algorithms are performing well and are consistent with theoretical expectations. These products are publicly available at the Atmospheric Science Data Center at the NASA Langley Research Center for climate studies and for generating other geophysical products that require cloud properties as input.

Yuekui Yang et al.
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Short summary
The physical basis of the EPIC cloud product algorithms and an initial evaluation of their performance are presented. EPIC cloud products include cloud mask, effective height, and optical depth. Comparison with co-located retrievals from Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites shows that the algorithms are performing well and are consistent with theoretical expectations. These products are publicly available at the NASA Langley Atmospheric Sciences Data Center.
The physical basis of the EPIC cloud product algorithms and an initial evaluation of their...
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