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Atmospheric cloud algorithms for day/night whole sky imagers

TitleAtmospheric cloud algorithms for day/night whole sky imagers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsShields J.E, Burden A.R, Karr M.E
Date Published2019/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1559-128X
Accession NumberWOS:000485128500008
Keywordslindenberg; Optics; vis/nir

This paper discusses new atmospheric cloud algorithms that we have developed to detect the presence and location of clouds in images of the sky acquired by day/night whole sky imagers, and to categorize the douds by opacity. The day/night whole sky imagers that we developed are ground-based sensors that acquire digital imagery of the full sky down to the horizon in several visible spectral bands and a near-infrared spectral band. The instruments acquire accurate data under daylight, moonlight, and starlight conditions. This paper discusses the previously unpublished day and night cloud algorithms. The day cloud algorithm identifies opaque clouds using a red/blue ratio and identifies thin clouds by comparing current red/blue ratios with the ratios anticipated for clear skies. The clear sky ratios include an image-to-image adaptive algorithm feature to adjust for haze amount. The night cloud algorithms are based on determinations of earth-to-space beam transmittances and on comparisons of current radiances with radiance distributions for clear skies and for opaque clouds. They also include an adaptive algorithm feature to adjust for changes in haze amount. In addition, these new night algorithms report the Earth-to-space beam transmittance in selected directions. The algorithms provide a pixelby-pixel determination of the doud results with excellent accuracy. This paper discusses the new day and night cloud algorithms and an assessment of their accuracy, as well as a short discussion of the pros and cons of using these wave bands versus other wave bands. (C) 2019 Optical Society of America

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