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Uncertainties in Ice-Sheet Altimetry From a Spaceborne 1064-nm Single-Channel Lidar Due to Undetected Thin Clouds

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5 Author(s)
Yuekui Yang ; Goddard Earth Sci. & Technol. Center, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA ; Marshak, A. ; Varnai, T. ; Wiscombe, W.
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In support of the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat)-II mission, this paper studies the bias in surface-elevation measurements caused by undetected thin clouds. The ICESat-II satellite may only have a 1064-nm single-channel lidar onboard. Less sensitive to clouds than the 532-nm channel, the 1064-nm channel tends to miss thin clouds. Previous studies have demonstrated that scattering by cloud particles increases the photon-path length, thus resulting in biases in ice-sheet-elevation measurements from spaceborne lidars. This effect is referred to as atmospheric path delay. This paper complements previous studies in the following ways: First, atmospheric path delay is estimated over the ice sheets based on cloud statistics from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System onboard ICESat and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard Terra and Aqua. Second, the effect of cloud particle size and shape is studied with the state-of-the-art phase functions developed for MODIS cirrus-cloud microphysical model. Third, the contribution of various orders of scattering events to the path delay is studied, and an analytical model of the first-order scattering contribution is developed. This paper focuses on the path delay as a function of telescope field of view (FOV). The results show that reducing telescope FOV can significantly reduce the expected path delay. As an example, the average path delays for FOV = 167 ??rad (a 100-m-diameter circle on the surface) caused by thin undetected clouds by the 1064-nm channel over Greenland and East Antarctica are illustrated.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 1 )