Investigation of the error in derived mean cloud cover for a proposed space-borne cloud radar

I. Astin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Both NASA and ESA propose to fly a space-borne cloud radar, in sun-synchronous orbit, to provide both a cloud climatology and a study of cloud processes. One product from the mission will be 3D monthly mean cloud cover over a global grid. However, this will be only an estimate of the true mean due to the incomplete space-time sampling of the averaging boxes. This error is investigated. It is found under perfect retrieval that the error varies little with assumed cloud overlap, equator crossing time, repeat period and month studied. However, perfect retrieval will not occur in practise and the radar will misclassify clear and cloudy regions. This could lead to biases in estimates for instantaneous and mean could cover. It is found using simulations based on Eucrex reflectivities that this bias could be removed if a suitable detection threshold for the radar is used. This threshold is independent of cloud cover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-190
Number of pages4
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydrology, Oceans and Atmosphere
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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