Stereo Cloud Height and Wind Determination Using Measurements from a Single Focal Plane

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Robert Demajistre and Michael A Kelly, JHU/APL, Laurel, MD, United States
We present here a method for extracting cloud heights and winds from an aircraft or orbital platform using measurements from a single focal plane, exploiting the motion of the platform to provide multiple views of the cloud tops. To illustrate this method we use data acquired during aircraft flight tests of a set of simple stereo imagers that are well suited to this purpose. Each of these imagers has three linear arrays on the focal plane, one looking forward, one looking aft, and one looking down. Push-broom images from each of these arrays are constructed, and then a spatial correlation analysis is used to deduce the delays and displacements required for wind and cloud height determination.

We will present the algorithms necessary for the retrievals, as well as the methods used to determine the uncertainties of the derived cloud heights and winds. We will apply the retrievals and uncertainty determination to a number of image sets acquired by the airborne sensors. We then generalize these results to potential space based observations made by similar types of sensors.