He, QJ (2013). Night-time cloud detection for FY-3A/VIRR using multispectral thresholds. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 34(8), 2876-2887.
Night-time cloud detection using satellite data is a challenging area of research. This article presents a night-time cloud detection algorithm based on multispectral thresholds for the Visible and Infrared Radiometer (VIRR). VIRR is one of the keystone instruments on board the Chinese Feng Yun 3 (FY-3) polar-orbiting meteorological satellite. In this algorithm, three thermal infrared channels and other ancillary data are used to test for the presence of clouds according to different underlying surface types, and the four levels of possible cloud confidence are used to report whether a pixel is cloudy or clear. This algorithm strengthens the ability of identification of low cloud using the brightness temperature difference between the 3.7 and 12 m channels. The comparisons of a new cloud mask with the official VIRR cloud mask product and with the official Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud mask product are shown to illustrate and validate the effect of this new algorithm. In addition, this algorithm is applied to FY-3B/VIRR data to test the validity and accuracy of cloud detection.