02 Mar 2023
 | 02 Mar 2023

Cloud optical and physical properties retrieval from EarthCARE multi-spectral imager: the M-COP products

Anja Hünerbein, Sebastian Bley, Hartwig Deneke, Jan Fokke Meirink, Gerd-Jan van Zadelhoff, and Andi Walther

Abstract. ESA’s Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer EarthCARE is the first mission which will provide measurements from active profiling, passive imaging and a broad-band radiometer from a single satellite platform. The passive multi-spectral imager (MSI) features four solar and three thermal infrared channels, and has a swath of 150 km and a spatial pixel resolution of 500 m. The MSI observations will provide across-track information on clouds and aerosol to extend the active profiling information into the swath. In this paper, we present the algorithm used for retrieving the cloud optical and physical products (M-COP), specifically cloud optical thickness, effective radius and top height. The algorithm is based on the solar and terrestrial MSI channels within an optimal estimation framework. The advantage of optimal estimation is that it enables full error propagation given by the uncertainties in measurements and a-priori information. The MSI cloud algorithm has been successfully exercised on different imagers and on synthetically generated MSI observations.

Anja Hünerbein et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-305', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Apr 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-305', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 May 2023

Anja Hünerbein et al.

Anja Hünerbein et al.


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Short summary
The ESA cloud, aerosol and radiation mission EarthCARE will provide active profiling and passive imaging measurements from a single satellite platform. The passive multi-spectral imager (MSI) will add information in the across-track direction. We present the cloud optical and physical properties algorithm, which combine the visible to infrared MSI channels to determine the cloud top pressure, optical thickness, particle size, and water path.