Kuria, D; Koike, T (2011). Convective cloud discrimination using multi-frequency microwave signatures of the AMSR-E sensor: evaluation over the Tibetan Plateau. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 32(12), 3451-3460.
Multi-frequency passive microwave remote sensing affords a unique opportunity to understand various phenomena; low-frequency microwaves penetrate clouds and are able to observe Earth surface conditions (similar to 6-18 GHz), while the higher frequencies are strongly impacted by prevailing atmospheric conditions. By using these relationships, an atmospheric opacity index (AOI) using Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on Earth Observing Satellite (AMSR-E) multi-frequency data is proposed. This index utilizes four AMSR-E frequencies spanning both high-and low-microwave frequency. This AOI can be used to discriminate cloudy atmosphere from clear-sky conditions. This index shows good agreement with current cloud indices. In this research, it is compared against the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite 9th series (GOES-9) atmosphere products. It offers the possibility of detecting convective clouds at all times (day and night) due to the advantage of the independence of the microwave sensors on the Sun for illumination.