Enhanced Satellite Cloud Analysis by the Development of a Higher Resolution (6-km) Global Geography Data Set
Environmental research rept. no. 1179
PHILLIPS LAB HANSCOM AFB MA
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An improved global 6-km raster geography based on an Air Force vector product, several terrain data sets, and human interpretation has been produced at the Air Force Phillips Laboratory, Hanscom AFB, MA. Additionally, desert surface types were identified using background brightness values from satellite measurements. Use of this improved geography data has dramatically improved cloud analysis, particularly over coastal areas. This data set was produced as part of the SERCAA Support of Environmental Requirements for Cloud Analysis and Archives global cloud detection and analysis algorithms. These algorithms utilize the capabilities of both polar orbiting and geosynchronous satellites. Since detailed knowledge of the underlying surface is critical to the cloudno-cloud decision process, a necessary component of the cloud analysis effort is a fine-resolution geography database that determines information on surface characteristics such as land-water boundaries, deserts, and lakes. Such geographical data has also been used to retrieve surface skin temperatures, thus further increasing the accuracy of the thermal infrared section of the cloud detection algorithm.