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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 1529-1549, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-5-1529-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
06 Jul 2012
Observing ice clouds in the submillimeter spectral range: the CloudIce mission proposal for ESA's Earth Explorer 8
S. A. Buehler1, E. Defer2, F. Evans3, S. Eliasson1, J. Mendrok1, P. Eriksson4, C. Lee5, C. Jiménez2, C. Prigent2, S. Crewell6, Y. Kasai7, R. Bennartz8, and A. J. Gasiewski9 1Division of Space Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Kiruna, Sweden
2CNRS, Laboratoire d'Etudes du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique, Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France
3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
4Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
5Met Office, Exeter, UK
6Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
7National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Tokyo, Japan
8Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
9NOAA-CU Center for Environmental Technology (CET), Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, USA
Abstract. Passive submillimeter-wave sensors are a way to obtain urgently needed global data on ice clouds, particularly on the so far poorly characterized "essential climate variable" ice water path (IWP) and on ice particle size. CloudIce was a mission proposal to the European Space Agency ESA in response to the call for Earth Explorer 8 (EE8), which ran in 2009/2010. It proposed a passive submillimeter-wave sensor with channels ranging from 183 GHz to 664 GHz. The article describes the CloudIce mission proposal, with particular emphasis on describing the algorithms for the data-analysis of submillimeter-wave cloud ice data (retrieval algorithms) and demonstrating their maturity. It is shown that we have a robust understanding of the radiative properties of cloud ice in the millimeter/submillimeter spectral range, and that we have a proven toolbox of retrieval algorithms to work with these data. Although the mission was not selected for EE8, the concept will be useful as a reference for other future mission proposals.

Citation: Buehler, S. A., Defer, E., Evans, F., Eliasson, S., Mendrok, J., Eriksson, P., Lee, C., Jiménez, C., Prigent, C., Crewell, S., Kasai, Y., Bennartz, R., and Gasiewski, A. J.: Observing ice clouds in the submillimeter spectral range: the CloudIce mission proposal for ESA's Earth Explorer 8, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 1529-1549, https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-5-1529-2012, 2012.
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