Monte Carlo study of UAV-measurable albedo over Arctic Sea ice

TitleMonte Carlo study of UAV-measurable albedo over Arctic Sea ice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsPodgorny I., Lubin D., Perovich D.K
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Date Published2018/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0739-0572
Accession NumberWOS:000425445600004
Keywordscoastline; Engineering; fluxes; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; model; ocean; optical-properties; radiative-transfer

In anticipation that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will have a useful role in atmospheric energy budget studies over sea ice, a Monte Carlo model is used to investigate three-dimensional radiative transfer over a highly inhomogeneous surface albedo involving open water, sea ice, and melt ponds. The model simulates the spatial variability in 550-nm downwelling irradiance and albedo that a UAV would measure above this surface and underneath an optically thick, horizontally homogeneous cloud. At flight altitudes higher than 100 m above the surface, an airborne radiometer will sample irradiances that are greatly smoothed horizontally as a result of photon multiple reflection. If one is interested in sampling the local energy budget contrasts between specific surface types, then the UAV must fly at a low altitude, typically within 20 m of the surface. Spatial upwelling irradiance variability in larger open water features, on the order of 1000 m wide, will remain apparent as high as 500 m above the surface. To fully investigate the impact of surface feature variability on the energy budget of the lower troposphere ice-ocean system, a UAV needs to fly at a variety of altitudes to determine how individual features contribute to the area-average albedo.

Short TitleJ. Atmos. Ocean. Technol.
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