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The algorithms for estimating snow extent for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) optimally use the 1.6-μm channel which is unavailable for MODIS on Aqua due to detector damage. As a test bed to demonstrate that Aqua band 6 can be restored, we chose the area surrounding Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. In such rugged and difficult-to-access terrain, satellite images are particularly important for providing an estimation of snow-cover extent. For the full 2010-2011 snow season covering the Yellowstone region, we have used quantitative image restoration to create a database of restored Aqua band 6. The database includes restored radiances, normalized vegetation index, normalized snow index, thermal data, and band-6-based snow-map products. The restored Aqua-band-6 data have also been regridded and combined with Terra data to produce a snow-cover map that utilizes both Terra and Aqua snow maps. Using this database, we show that the restored Aqua-band-6-based snow-cover extent has a comparable performance with respect to ground stations to the one based on Terra. The result of a restored band 6 from Aqua is that we have an additional band-6 image of the Yellowstone region each day. This image can be used to mitigate cloud occlusion, using the same algorithms used for band 6 on Terra. We show an application of this database of restored band-6 images to illustrate the value of creating a cloud gap filling using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's operational cloud masks and data from both Aqua and Terra.
Date of Publication: May 2013