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Open AccessArticle

Three-Dimensional Cloud Structure Reconstruction from the Directional Polarimetric Camera

by Haixiao Yu 1,2, Jinji Ma 1,2,*, Safura Ahmad 1,2, Erchang Sun 1,2, Chao Li 1,2, Zhengqiang Li 3 and Jin Hong 4
School of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241003, China
Engineering Technology Research Center of Resources Environment and GIS, Wuhu 241003, China
State Environment Protection Key Laboratory of Satellite Remote Sensing, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Key Laboratory of Optical Calibration and Characterization, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(24), 2894;
Received: 29 September 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active and Passive Remote Sensing of Aerosols and Clouds)
Clouds affect radiation transmission through the atmosphere, which impacts the Earth’ s energy balance and climate. Currently, the study of clouds is mostly based on a two-dimensional (2-D) plane rather than a three-dimensional (3-D) space. However, 3-D cloud reconstruction is playing an important role not only in a radiation transmission calculation but in forecasting climate change as well. Currently, the study of clouds is mostly based on 2-D single angle satellite observation data while the importance of a 3-D structure of clouds in atmospheric radiation transmission is ignored. 3-D structure reconstruction would improve the radiation transmission accuracy of the cloudy atmosphere based on multi-angle observations data. Characterizing the 3-D structure of clouds is crucial for an extensive study of this complex intermediate medium in the atmosphere. In addition, it is also a great carrier for visualization of its parameters. Special attributes and the shape of clouds can be clearly illustrated in a 3-D cloud while these are difficult to describe in a 2-D plane. It provides a more intuitive expression for the study of complex cloud systems. In order to reconstruct a 3-D cloud structure, we develop and explore a ray casting algorithm applied to data from the Directional Polarimetric Camera (DPC), which is onboard the GF-5 satellite. In this paper, we use DPC with characteristics of imaging multiple angles of the same target, and characterize observations of clouds from different angles in 3-D space. This feature allows us to reconstruct 3-D clouds from different angles of observations. In terms of verification, we use cloud profile data provided by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) to compare with the results of reconstructed 3-D clouds based on DPC data. This shows that the reconstruction method has good accuracy and effectiveness. This 3-D cloud reconstruction method would lay a scientific reference for future analysis on the role of clouds in the atmosphere and for the construction of 3-D structures of aerosols. View Full-Text
Keywords: DPC images; remote sensing; 3-D reconstructed cloud; cloud structure; cloud boundary DPC images; remote sensing; 3-D reconstructed cloud; cloud structure; cloud boundary
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yu, H.; Ma, J.; Ahmad, S.; Sun, E.; Li, C.; Li, Z.; Hong, J. Three-Dimensional Cloud Structure Reconstruction from the Directional Polarimetric Camera. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2894.

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