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Atmosphere 2011, 2(3), 242-255; doi:10.3390/atmos2030242

Cross-Comparison of MODIS and CloudSat Data as a Tool to Validate Local Cloud Cover Masks

EURAC-Institute for Applied Remote Sensing, Viale Druso, 1 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Physics Department, Bari Politechnic, Via Amendola, 173 70126 Bari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2011 / Revised: 26 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 22 July 2011
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This paper presents a cross-comparison of the data acquired by the MODIS and CloudSat sensors in order to understand the limit of the developed cloud-mask algorithm and to provide a quantitative validation assessment of cloud masks by using exclusively remotely sensed data. The analysis has been carried out by comparing both the intermediate levels of the cloud mask such as the brightness temperatures and the reflectance values for different channels, and the cloud mask itself with the cloud profiles as measured by the CloudSat sensor. The comparison between MODIS cloud tests and the CloudSat profiles indicates an agreement with hit rates (H) and Hanssen-Kuiper Skill Score (KSS) varying between 0.7 and 1.0 and 0.4 and 1.0, respectively. In this case, the low values of H and KSS are found due to the limitation of CloudSat to detect low clouds. The comparison between the cloud mask and the CloudSat profile determines H and KSS values between 0.6 and 1, except for one case. The CloudSat profile has also been compared with the Standard MODIS cloud mask in order to understand the improvement obtained in the use of local adapted thresholds. A comparison of MODIS and CALIPSO data is also presented.
Keywords: cloud mask; MODIS; CloudSat; A-train; validation cloud mask; MODIS; CloudSat; A-train; validation

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Notarnicola, C.; Di Rosa, D.; Posa, F. Cross-Comparison of MODIS and CloudSat Data as a Tool to Validate Local Cloud Cover Masks. Atmosphere 2011, 2, 242-255.

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