Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 3493-3510, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
11 Apr 2012
Airborne hyperspectral observations of surface and cloud directional reflectivity using a commercial digital camera
A. Ehrlich1, E. Bierwirth1, M. Wendisch1, A. Herber2, and J.-F. Gayet3 1Leipzig Institute for Meteorology (LIM), University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
2Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany
3Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique (LAMP), Université Blaise Pascal, Aubière Cedex, France
Abstract. Spectral radiance measurements by a digital single-lens reflex camera were used to derive the directional reflectivity of clouds and different surfaces in the Arctic. The camera has been calibrated radiometrically and spectrally to provide accurate radiance measurements with high angular resolution. A comparison with spectral radiance measurements with the Spectral Modular Airborne Radiation measurement sysTem (SMART-Albedometer) showed an agreement within the uncertainties of both instruments (6% for both). The directional reflectivity in terms of the hemispherical directional reflectance factor (HDRF) was obtained for sea ice, ice-free ocean and clouds. The sea ice, with an albedo of ρ = 0.96 (at 530 nm wavelength), showed an almost isotropic HDRF, while sun glint was observed for the ocean HDRF (ρ = 0.12). For the cloud observations with ρ = 0.62, the cloudbow – a backscatter feature typically for scattering by liquid water droplets – was covered by the camera. For measurements above heterogeneous stratocumulus clouds, the required number of images to obtain a mean HDRF that clearly exhibits the cloudbow has been estimated at about 50 images (10 min flight time). A representation of the HDRF as a function of the scattering angle only reduces the image number to about 10 (2 min flight time).

The measured cloud and ocean HDRF have been compared to radiative transfer simulations. The ocean HDRF simulated with the observed surface wind speed of 9 m s−1 agreed best with the measurements. For the cloud HDRF, the best agreement was obtained by a broad and weak cloudbow simulated with a cloud droplet effective radius of Reff = 4 μm. This value agrees with the particle sizes derived from in situ measurements and retrieved from the spectral radiance of the SMART-Albedometer.

Citation: Ehrlich, A., Bierwirth, E., Wendisch, M., Herber, A., and Gayet, J.-F.: Airborne hyperspectral observations of surface and cloud directional reflectivity using a commercial digital camera, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 3493-3510,, 2012.
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