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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
1
School of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241003, China
2
Engineering Technology Research Center of Resources Environment and GIS, Wuhu 241003, China
3
State Environment Protection Key Laboratory of Satellite Remote Sensing, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
4
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11242894
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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