Methods to Retrieve the Cloud-Top Height in the Frame of the JEM-EUSO Mission Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2019

start page

  • 304

end page

  • 318


  • 1


  • 57

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0196-2892

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-0644


  • The Japanese Experiment Module-Extreme Universe Space Observatory (JEM-EUSO) telescope will measure ultrahigh-energy cosmic ray properties by detecting the UV fluorescence light generated in the interaction between cosmic rays and the atmosphere. Therefore, information on the state of clouds in the atmosphere is crucial for a proper interpretation of the data. For a real-time observation of the clouds in the telescope field of view, the JEM-EUSO will use an atmospheric monitoring system composed of a light detection and ranging and an infrared (IR) camera. In this paper, the focus is on the IR camera data. To retrieve the cloud-top height (CTH) from IR images, three different methods are considered here. The first one is based on bispectral stereo vision algorithms and requires two different views of the same scene in different spectral bands. For the second one, brightness temperatures provided by the IR camera are converted to effective cloud-top temperatures, from which the CTH is estimated using the vertical temperature profiles. A third method that uses the primary numerical weather prediction model output parameters, such as the cloud fraction, has also been considered to retrieve the CTH. This paper presents a first analysis, in which the heights retrieved by these three methodologies are compared with the heights given by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer sensor installed on the polar satellite Terra. Since all these methods are suitable for the JEM-EUSO mission, they could be used in the future in a complementary way to improve the accuracy of the CTH retrieval.


  • algorithms; atmospheric measurements; clouds; infrared imagine; satellites; temperature; algorithm; modis; misr