Retrieving Properties of Thin Clouds from Solar Aureole Measurements
Author(s)Joss, Paul C.; Rappaport, Saul A.; DeVore, J. G.; Stair, A. T.; LePage, A.; Rall, D.; Atkinson, J.; Villanucci, D.; McClatchey, R. A.; ... Show more Show less
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This paper describes a newly designed Sun and Aureole Measurement (SAM) aureolegraph and the first results obtained with this instrument. SAM measurements of solar aureoles produced by cirrus and cumulus clouds were taken at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Central Facility in Oklahoma during field experiments conducted in June 2007 and compared with simultaneous measurements from a variety of other ground-based instruments. A theoretical relationship between the slope of the aureole profile and the size distribution of spherical cloud particles is based on approximating scattering as due solely to diffraction, which in turn is approximated using a rectangle function. When the particle size distribution is expressed as a power-law function of radius, the aureole radiance as a function of angle from the center of the solar disk also follows a power law, with the sum of the two powers being −5. This result also holds if diffraction is modeled with an Airy function. The diffraction approximation is applied to SAM measurements with optical depths 2 to derive the effective radii of cloud particles and particle size distributions between 2.5 and 25 μm. The SAM results yielded information on cloud properties complementary to that obtained with ARM Central Facility instrumentation. A network of automated SAM units [similar to the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) system] would provide a practical means to gain fundamental new information on the global statistical properties of thin (optical depth 10) clouds, thereby providing unique information on the effects of such clouds upon the earth’s energy budget.
DepartmentKavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
American Meteorological Society
DeVore, J. G et al. “Retrieving Properties of Thin Clouds from Solar Aureole Measurements.” Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 26.12 (2009): 2531-2548. © 2009 American Meteorological Society.
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