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David J. Diner, Gregory P. Asner, Roger Davies, Yuri Knyazikhin, Jan-Peter Muller, Anne W. Nolin, Bernard Pinty, Crystal B. Schaaf, and Julienne Stroeve

The physical interpretation of simultaneous multiangle observations represents a relatively new approach to remote sensing of terrestrial geophysical and biophysical parameters. Multiangle measurements enable retrieval of physical scene characteristics, such as aerosol type, cloud morphology and height, and land cover (e.g., vegetation canopy type), providing improved albedo accuracies as well as compositional, morphological, and structural information that facilitates addressing many key climate, environmental, and ecological issues. While multiangle data from wide field-of-view scanners have traditionally been used to build up directional “signatures” of terrestrial scenes through multitemporal compositing, these approaches either treat the multiangle variation as a problem requiring correction or normalization or invoke statistical assumptions that may not apply to specific scenes. With the advent of a new generation of global imaging spectroradiometers capable of acquiring simultaneous visible/near-IR multiangle observations, namely, the Along-Track Scanning Radiometer-2, the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances instrument, and the Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, both qualitatively new approaches as well as quantitative improvements in accuracy are achievable that exploit the multiangle signals as unique and rich sources of diagnostic information. This paper discusses several applications of this technique to scientific problems in terrestrial atmospheric and surface geophysics and biophysics.

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Kevin J. Mueller, Dong L. Wu, Ákos Horváth, Veljko M. Jovanovic, Jan-Peter Muller, Larry Di Girolamo, Michael J. Garay, David J. Diner, Catherine M. Moroney, and Steve Wanzong


Cloud motion vector (CMV) winds retrieved from the Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument on the polar-orbiting Terra satellite from 2003 to 2008 are compared with collocated atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) retrieved from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) imagery over the tropics and midlatitudes and from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery near the poles. MISR imagery from multiple view angles is exploited to jointly retrieve stereoscopic cloud heights and motions, showing advantages over the AMV heights assigned by radiometric means, particularly at low heights (<3 km) that account for over 95% of MISR CMV sampling. MISR–GOES wind differences exhibit a standard deviation ranging with increasing height from 3.3 to 4.5 m s−1 for a high-quality [quality indicator (QI) ≥ 80] subset where height differences are <1.5 km. Much of the observed difference can be attributed to the less accurately retrieved component of CMV motion along the direction of satellite motion. MISR CMV retrieval is subject to correlation between error in retrieval of this along-track component and of height. This manifests as along-track bias varying with height to magnitudes as large as 2.5 m s−1. The cross-track component of MISR CMVs shows small (<0.5 m s−1) bias and standard deviation of differences (1.7 m s−1) relative to GOES AMVs. Larger differences relative to MODIS are attributed to the tracking of cloud features at heights lower than MODIS in multilayer cloud scenes.

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