Development of an Algorithm for MODIS and VIIRS Cloud Optical Property Data Record Continuity

Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Kerry Meyer1, Steven E Platnick2, Steven A Ackerman3, Andrew K Heidinger4, Robert Holz5, Gala Wind6, Nandana Amarasinghe6 and Benjamin Marchant2, (1)Universities Space Research Association Greenbelt, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States, (4)NOAA/NESDIS, Madison, WI, United States, (5)UW SSEC, Madison, WI, United States, (6)Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD, United States
The launch of Suomi NPP in the fall of 2011 began the next generation of U.S. operational polar orbiting environmental observations. Similar to MODIS, the VIIRS imager provides visible through IR observations at moderate spatial resolution with a 1330 LT equatorial crossing consistent with MODIS on the Aqua platform. However, unlike MODIS, VIIRS lacks key water vapor and CO2 absorbing channels used by the MODIS cloud algorithms for high cloud detection and cloud-top property retrievals. In addition, there is a significant change in the spectral location of the 2.1μm shortwave-infrared channel used by MODIS for cloud optical/microphysical retrievals.

Given the instrument differences between MODIS EOS and VIIRS S-NPP/JPSS, we discuss our adopted method for merging the 15+ year MODIS observational record with VIIRS in order to generate cloud optical property data record continuity across the observing systems.

The optical property retrieval code uses heritage algorithms that produce the existing MODIS cloud optical and microphysical properties product (MOD06). As explained in other presentations submitted to this session, the NOAA AWG/CLAVR-x cloud-top property algorithm and a common MODIS-VIIRS cloud mask feed into the optical property algorithm to account for the different channel sets of the two imagers. Data granule and aggregated examples for the current version of the algorithm will be shown.