Plummer, SE (2008). The GLOBCARBON cloud detection system for the Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) sensor series. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 46(6), 1718-1727.
The GLOBCARBON initiative aims to develop a service to generate fully calibrated estimates of at-land products using, in combination, data from the Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) sensor series, MERIS and VEGETATION. A fundamental requirement of such processing is the effective removal of extraneous effects introduced by cloud, cloud shadow, snow, and atmosphere in these data. This paper reports on the implementation and extension of a new cloud and snow processing system for land, which is for the ATSR sensor series. The snow processor is as implemented for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer, whereas the cloud processor is based on APOLLO, with extensions to generate the probabilities of cloud presence and a further test to eliminate the cloud missed by APOLLO. The system was tested on 48 images representing a wide range of cloud types and forms over three contrasting biomes-boreal forest, desert savannah, and tropical evergreen forest. Excellent results are produced and represent a major improvement over the original flagging system. The approach has been adopted in GLOBCARBON for the processing of 500 000 ATSR scenes and 20 000 AATSR striplines.