Abstract

The Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument, which was launched aboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra spacecraft on 18 December 1999, is designed to measure tropospheric CO and CH4 by use of a nadir-viewing geometry. The measurements are taken at 4.7 µm in the thermal emission and absorption for the CO mixing ratio profile retrieval and at 2.3 and 2.2 µm in the reflected solar region for the total CO column amount and CH4 column amount retrieval, respectively. To achieve the required measurement accuracy, it is critical to identify and remove cloud contamination in the radiometric signals. We describe an algorithm to detect cloudy pixels, to reconstruct clear column radiance for pixels with partial cloud covers, and to estimate equivalent cloud top height for overcast conditions to allow CO profile retrievals above clouds. The MOPITT channel radiances, as well as the first-guess calculations, are simulated with a fast forward model with input atmospheric profiles from ancillary data sets. The precision of the retrieved CO profiles and total column amounts in cloudy atmospheres is within the expected ±10% range. Validations of the cloud-detecting thresholds with the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer airborne simulator data and MOPITT airborne test radiometer measurements were performed. The validation results showed that the MOPITT cloud detection thresholds work well for scenes covered with more than 5–10% cloud cover if the uncertainties in the model input profiles are less than 2 K for temperature, 10% for water vapor, and 5% for CO and CH4.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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