Development of new, innovative retrieval algorithms

The optimal use of new satellite sensors is ensured by the development of innovative satellite products. Special attention is given to the synergies between active and passive sensors, and between ground based and satellite data as well.

Current Research Topics

The satellite group currently focuses on the following topics:

  • Development of cloud products for the EarthCare spectrometer (MSI) and synergies with the lidar system (ATLID). EarthCare is a planned space mission operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The focus of this mission is the investigation of aerosol and clouds, including their effects on atmospheric radiation transport. In particular the combination of active (radar and lidar) and passive (spectrometer and radiometer) remote sensing instruments provides information about the vertical and horizontal aerosol and cloud distribution together with the long- and shortwave radiative fluxes. The main task for the satellite group during this project is the development of data analysis algorithms for the spectral imager (MSI) and to identify possible synergies with the lidar system (ATLID).
  • Increased spatial resolution for the narrowband radiation flux densities of the MSG-SEVIRI. The Information from the higher resolved spatial variability from the visual broadband channel of MSG-SEVIGI are used to enhance the low resolution narrowband channels via a statistical method. This procedure allows the characterization of small cloud patterns and the estimation of errors in conventional methods.
  • High resolution MSG-SEVIRI cloud mask and cloud properties. An adaptive threshold method is applied to the high resolution visual channel of MSG-SEVIRI to detect small scale cloud structures and characterize properties like cloud size distribution and cloud cover.
  • Evaluation of cloud movement. The cloud movement, derived from time series of satellite images, are often correlated to the atmospheric wind velocities in the according layer. With that they are from high interest for data assimilation procedures during the weather prediction process. Cloud movement characteristics, obtained using data from several satellites (e.g. MSG, Metop, MODIS, MISR, MTSAT, GOES) are compared to each other.
  • Synergetic analysis of aerosol cloud interaction using ground and satellite based remote sensing data. The combined utilization of active and passive ground based remote instruments and passive sensors on satellites allow a direct comparison of microphysical cloud parameters. Special attention is paid to water clouds, influenced by aerosols. The comparison between the both perspectives allows to identify difficulties and discrepancies during the different retrieval processes.