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Appl Opt. 2014 Nov 1;53(31):7523-33. doi: 10.1364/AO.53.007523.

Method for validating cloud mask obtained from satellite measurements using ground-based sky camera.

Abstract

Error propagation in Earth's atmospheric, oceanic, and land surface parameters of the satellite products caused by misclassification of the cloud mask is a critical issue for improving the accuracy of satellite products. Thus, characterizing the accuracy of the cloud mask is important for investigating the influence of the cloud mask on satellite products. In this study, we proposed a method for validating multiwavelength satellite data derived cloud masks using ground-based sky camera (GSC) data. First, a cloud cover algorithm for GSC data has been developed using sky index and bright index. Then, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data derived cloud masks by two cloud-screening algorithms (i.e., MOD35 and CLAUDIA) were validated using the GSC cloud mask. The results indicate that MOD35 is likely to classify ambiguous pixels as "cloudy," whereas CLAUDIA is likely to classify them as "clear." Furthermore, the influence of error propagations caused by misclassification of the MOD35 and CLAUDIA cloud masks on MODIS derived reflectance, brightness temperature, and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in clear and cloudy pixels was investigated using sky camera data. It shows that the influence of the error propagation by the MOD35 cloud mask on the MODIS derived monthly mean reflectance, brightness temperature, and NDVI for clear pixels is significantly smaller than for the CLAUDIA cloud mask; the influence of the error propagation by the CLAUDIA cloud mask on MODIS derived monthly mean cloud products for cloudy pixels is significantly smaller than that by the MOD35 cloud mask.

PMID:
25402920
DOI:
10.1364/AO.53.007523

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