Assessment of multispectral ATSR2 stereo cloud-top height retrievals

Catherine Naud, Jan Peter Muller, Eugene E. Clothiaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Along-Track Scanning Radiometer 2 (ATSR2) instrument has a dual view capability that allows for stereo height retrievals. Stereo heights were retrieved for selected scenes over the United Kingdom Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research and the United States Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program Southern Great Plains site from 1997 to 2000. Stereo cloud-top heights obtained with the 11 μm and 1.6 μm channels of ATSR2 were compared with ground-based millimeter-wave cloud radar measurements at both sites. On average ATSR2 11 μm channel cloud-top height retrievals were 350 m higher than those from radar with a standard deviation of 1 km. This difference increased with decreasing cloud-top height. One major problem found in the 11 μm channel cloud-top height retrievals was poor delineation between surface (i.e., clear) and low-altitude cloud pixels, though this tends to lower cloud-top heights rather than raise them. The ATSR2 1.6 μm channel stereo cloud-top heights had large discrepancies compared to radar because of the 1.6 μm channel sensitivity to a lower layer in the case of multilayer clouds or the terrain in the case of optically thin single-layer clouds. For single-layer clouds, the agreement between the ATSR2 1.6 μm channel and the radar cloud-top heights was similar to that between ATSR2 11 μm channel and radar cloud-top heights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 15 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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