The new potential of deep convective clouds as a calibration target for a geostationary UV/VIS hyperspectral spectrometer

Yeeun Lee, Myoung Hwan Ahn, Mina Kang

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6 Scopus citations


As one of geostationary earth orbit constellation for environmental monitoring over the next decade, the Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) has been designed to observe the Asia-Pacific region to provide information on atmospheric chemicals, aerosols, and cloud properties. In order to continuously monitor sensor performance after its launch in early 2020, we suggest in this paper deep convective clouds (DCCs) as a possible target for the vicarious calibration of the GEMS, the first ultraviolet and visible hyperspectral sensor onboard a geostationary satellite. The Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) and the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) are used as a proxy for GEMS, and a conventional DCC-detection approach applying a thermal threshold test is used for DCC detection based on collocations with the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) onboard the Himawari-8 geostationary satellite. DCCs are frequently detected over the GEMS observation area at an average of over 200 pixels within a single observation scene. Considering the spatial resolution of the GEMS (3.5 x 8 km2), which is similar to the TROPOMI and its temporal resolution (eight times a day), the availability of DCCs is expected to be sufficient for the vicarious calibration of the GEMS. Inspection of the DCC reflectivity spectra estimated from OMI and TROPOMI data also shows promising results. The estimated DCC spectra are in good agreement within a known uncertainty range with comparable spectral features even with different observation geometries and sensor characteristics. When DCC detection is improved further by applying both visible and infrared tests, the variability of DCC reflectivity from TROPOMI data is reduced from 10% to 5%. This is mainly due to the efficient screening out of cold, thin cirrus clouds in the visible test and of bright, warm clouds in the infrared test. Precise DCC detection is also expected to contribute to the accurate characterization of cloud reflectivity, which will be investigated further in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number446
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Deep convective cloud
  • GEMS
  • Hyperspectral data
  • OMI
  • UV
  • VIS
  • Vicarious calibration


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