Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Ice Cloud Retrievals and Analysis with the Compact Scanning Submillimeter...

Evans, K. F., J. R. Wang, P. E. Racette, G. Heymsfield, and L. Li (2005), Ice Cloud Retrievals and Analysis with the Compact Scanning Submillimeter Imaging Radiometer and the Cloud Radar System during CRYSTAL FACE, J. Appl. Meteor., 44, 839-859.

Submillimeter-wave radiometry is a new technique for determining ice water path (IWP) and particle size in upper-tropospheric ice clouds. The first brightness temperatures images of ice clouds above 340 GHz were measured by the Compact Scanning Submillimeter Imaging Radiometer (CoSSIR) during the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers (CRYSTAL) Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (FACE) campaign in July 2002. CoSSIR operated with 12 channels from receivers at 183, 220, 380, 487, and 640 GHz. CoSSIR and the nadir-viewing 94-GHz Cloud Radar System (CRS) flew on the NASA ER-2 airplane based out of Key West, Florida. A qualitative comparison of the CoSSIR brightness temperatures demonstrates that the submillimeter-wave frequencies are more sensitive to anvil ice cloud particles than are the lower frequencies. A Bayesian algorithm, with a priori microphysical information from in situ cloud probes, is used to retrieve the IWP and median mass equivalent sphere particle diameter (Dme). Microwave scattering properties of random aggregates of plates and aggregates of frozen droplets are computed with the discrete dipole approximation (DDA) and an effective medium approximation tuned to DDA results. As a test of the retrievals, the vertically integrated 94-GHz radar backscattering is also retrieved from the CoSSIR data and compared with that measured by the CRS. The integrated backscattering typically agrees within 1–2 dB for IWP from 1000 to 10 000 g mϪ2, and while the disagreement increases for smaller IWP, it is typically within the Bayesian error bars. Retrievals made with only the three 183- and one 220-GHz channel are generally as good or better than those including 380 Ϯ 6.2 and 640 GHz, because the CoSSIR submillimeter-wave channels were much noisier than expected. An algorithm to retrieve profiles of ice water content and Dme from CRS and CoSSIR data was developed. This Bayesian algorithm also retrieves the coefficients of an IWC–radar reflectivity power-law relation and could be used to evaluate radar-only ice cloud retrieval algorithms.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)