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Near-Real-Time Applications of CloudSat Data

Mitrescu, C., S. Miller, J. Hawkins, T. L'Ecuyer, J. Turk, P. T. Partain, and G. Stephens (2008), Near-Real-Time Applications of CloudSat Data, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 47, 1982-1994, doi:10.1175/2007JAMC1794.1.

Within 2 months of its launch in April 2006 as part of the Earth Observing System A-Train satellite constellation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) CloudSat mission began making significant contributions toward broadening the understanding of detailed cloud vertical structures around the earth. Realizing the potential benefit of CloudSat to both the research objectives and operational requirements of the U.S. Navy, the Naval Research Laboratory coordinated early on with the CloudSat Data Processing Center to receive and process first-look 94-GHz Cloud Profiling Radar datasets in near–real time (4–8 h latency), thereby making the observations more relevant to the operational community. Applications leveraging these unique data, described herein, include 1) analysis/ validation of cloud structure and properties derived from conventional passive radiometers, 2) tropical cyclone vertical structure analysis, 3) support of research field programs, 4) validation of numerical weather prediction model cloud fields, and 5) quantitative precipitation estimation in light rainfall regimes.

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