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Physical decoupling of the GOES daytime 3.9  m channel thermal emission and solar reflection components using total solar eclipse data

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The spectra of solar and terrestrial emissions are considered largely as being decoupled from one another, such that shortwave (reflectance) and longwave (emissive) radiative properties are often discussed as entirely separate regimes. Instruments having detector pass-bands situated in the region of crossover near the 3.9m atmospheric window (where solar and thermal emissions are of comparable magnitude), however, detect both solar reflection and thermal emission simultaneously during daytime operation. This poses a problem to daytime cloud retrievals which seek to exploit the unique optical properties of liquid water at these near-infrared wavelengths but require measurement of either the solar or the thermal component exclusively. Without a priori knowledge of these components, empirical relationships or iterative processes must be applied, often without a practical means of quantifying the errors implicit to them. Here, total solar eclipses are proposed as a physical mechanism to decoupling the two radiative components by effectively removing the reflected solar radiation from the 3.9m scene during the eclipse. Considerations for this problem are discussed and comparisons to previous approximations presented.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado 80523, USA

Publication date: 2001-01-10

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