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Remote sensing of three-dimensional cirrus clouds from satellites: application to continuous-wave laser atmospheric transmission and backscattering

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Abstract

A satellite remote sensing methodology has been developed to retrieve 3D ice water content (IWC) and mean effective ice crystal size of cirrus clouds from satellite data on the basis of a combination of the conventional retrieval of cloud optical depth and particle size in a horizontal plane and a parameterization of the vertical cloud profile involving temperature from sounding and∕or analysis. The inferred 3D cloud fields of IWC and mean effective ice crystal size associated with two impressive cirrus clouds that occurred in the vicinity of northern Oklahoma on 18 April 1997 and 9 March 2000, obtained from the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, have been validated against the ice crystal size distributions that were collected independently from collocated and coincident aircraft optical probe measurements. The 3D cloud results determined from satellite data have been applied to the simulation of cw laser energy propagation, and we show the significance of 3D cloud geometry and inhomogeneity and spherical atmosphere on the transmitted and backscattered laser powers. Finally, we demonstrate that the 3D cloud fields derived from satellite remote sensing can be used for the 3D laser transmission and backscattering model for tactical application.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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