Abstract

We present laboratory results of the 0.68μm visible (VIS) and 1.617μm near infrared (NIR) reflectances typically used for inferring optical depth and ice crystal size from satellite radiometers, from ice clouds generated in a temperature controlled column cloud chamber. Two types of ice crystals were produced in this experiment: small columns and dendrites with mean maximum dimensions of about 17 and 35μm. Within experimental uncertainty, the measured reflectances from ice clouds at both wavelengths agree reasonably well with the theoretical results computed from the plane-parallel adding–doubling method for radiative transfer using the measured ice particle morphology. We demonstrate that laboratory scattering and reflectance data for thin ice clouds with optical depths less than 0.4 can be used for validation of the thin cirrus optical depth and ice crystal size that have been routinely retrieved from the satellite VIS–NIR two channel pair.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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