Abstract

On the basis of the theory of scattering and radiative transfer in atmospheres with cirrus clouds, a physical retrieval method for the base height and thickness of cirrus clouds is developed in this simulation study. A complicated nonlinear equation is derived and solved, the radiative properties of cirrus clouds are parameterized, and the transmittance profile in atmospheres with cirrus clouds is developed. Two numerical techniques, Müller iteration and a Monte Carlo method, are used. Retrieval results are presented for various atmospheric models and ice-water contents. Detailed analyses of observation errors and theoretical model errors, especially for the cloud microphysics, are carried out. Our analyses of the sensitivity of the method to ice-water content include vertical homogeneities and inhomogeneities. The preliminary study shows that the method developed here is feasible and that the VAS satellite’s IR channels 7 (12-μm H2O window) and 8 (11-μm atmospheric window) are important and useful for passive remote sensing of atmospheres with cirrus clouds from satellites.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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