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  • Author or Editor: James Spinhirne x
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Redgie S. Lancaster, James D. Spinhirne, and Kathrine F. Manizade


Multiangle remote sensing provides a wealth of information for earth and climate monitoring, such as the ability to measure the height of cloud tops through stereoscopic imaging. Further, as technology advances so do the options for developing spacecraft instrumentation versatile enough to meet the demands associated with multiangle measurements. One such instrument is the infrared spectral imaging radiometer, which flew as part of mission STS-85 of the space shuttle Columbia in 1997 and was the first earth-observing radiometer to incorporate an uncooled microbolometer array detector as its image sensor. Specifically, a method for computing cloud-top height with a precision of ±620 m from the multispectral stereo measurements acquired during this flight has been developed, and the results are compared with coincident direct laser ranging measurements from the shuttle laser altimeter. Mission STS-85 was the first space flight to combine laser ranging and thermal IR camera systems for cloud remote sensing.

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James R. Campbell, Dennis L. Hlavka, Ellsworth J. Welton, Connor J. Flynn, David D. Turner, James D. Spinhirne, V. Stanley Scott III, and I. H. Hwang


Atmospheric radiative forcing, surface radiation budget, and top-of-the-atmosphere radiance interpretation involve knowledge of the vertical height structure of overlying cloud and aerosol layers. During the last decade, the U.S. Department of Energy, through the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program, has constructed four long-term atmospheric observing sites in strategic climate regimes (north-central Oklahoma; Barrow, Alaska; and Nauru and Manus Islands in the tropical western Pacific). Micropulse lidar (MPL) systems provide continuous, autonomous observation of nearly all significant atmospheric clouds and aerosols at each of the central ARM facilities. These systems are compact, and transmitted pulses are eye safe. Eye safety is achieved by expanding relatively low-powered outgoing pulse energy through a shared, coaxial transmit/receive telescope. ARM MPL system specifications and specific unit optical designs are discussed. Data normalization and calibration techniques are presented. These techniques, in tandem, represent an operational value-added processing package used to produce normalized data products for ARM cloud and aerosol research.

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