Chen, SJ; Cheng, CH; Zhang, XY; Su, L; Tong, BW; Dong, CZ; Wang, F; Chen, BL; Chen, WB; Liu, D (2020). Construction of Nighttime Cloud Layer Height and Classification of Cloud Types. REMOTE SENSING, 12(4), 668.

A cloud structure construction algorithm adapted for the nighttime condition is proposed and evaluated. The algorithm expands the vertical information inferred from spaceborne radar and lidar via matching of infrared (IR) radiances and other properties at off-nadir locations with their counterparts that are collocated with active footprints. This nighttime spectral radiance matching (NSRM) method is tested using measurements from CloudSat/Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Cloud layer heights are estimated up to 400 km on both sides of the ground track and reconstructed with the dead zone setting for an approximate evaluation of the reliability. By mimicking off-nadir pixels with a dead zone around pixels along the ground track, reconstruction of nadir profiles shows that, at 200 km from the ground track, the cloud top height (CTH) and the cloud base height (CBH) reconstructed by the NSRM method are within 1.49 km and 1.81 km of the original measurements, respectively. The constructed cloud structure is utilized for cloud classification in the nighttime. The same method is applied to the daytime measurements for comparison with collocated MODIS classification based on the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) standard. The comparison of eight cloud types over the expanded distance shows good agreement in general.