The EU CLOUDMAP project is engaged in developing and validating spaceborne techniques for the retrieval of cloud properties as well in promulgating example data-sets for evaluation by the operational meteorological community.
A detailed analysis has been carried out of 3 spaceborne techniques for retrieving :
The CLRC RAL Chilbolton Radar Facility (http://www.rcru.rl.ac.uk/chil/welcome.htm) has been chosen as our geographic focus due to the presence of continuous multi-frequency, multi-polarisation mm-radar and 1um-lidar measurements of cloud properties including cloud droplets and ice crystals in the atmosphere above the site.
The IRS-3C MOS data (http://www.dlr.de/mos/) can be used to retrieve all of these properties at 1km grids over a 100 x 100 km area at sporadic time intervals. Operational global data using the same technique will be available from MERIS. Examples of these properties are shown here.
The ERS-2 ATSR2 data (http://188.8.131.52/ATSRNRT/) can be used to retrieve all three physical properties at 1km grids. ATSR1 (1991-1999),ATSR2 (1995-present day) and AATSR (2002-?) will provide a long-term archive of very high quality scientific data. Only one property (Cloud-top height) is shown here.
METEOSAT (http://www.eumetsat.de/en/) can be used to retrieve the first two cloud properties which are shown here. METEOSAT Second Generation to be launched in early 2001 will have the capabilities to retrieve all three properties but at coarser resolution.