A Rapid Cloud Mask Algorithm for Suomi NPP VIIRS Imagery EDRs
- 1INSTAAR / CSDMS, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
- 2Exelis Visual Information Solutions GmbH, Gilching, Germany
Keywords: Suomi NPP, VIIRS, Cloud Mask Algorithm, Classification, Skill Scores
Abstract. Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) is the first of a new generation of NASA's Earth-observing research satellites. The Suomi NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) collects visible and infrared views of Earth's dynamic surface processes. This NPP mission produces a series of Environmental Data Records (EDRs). As accurate information on cloud occurrence is of utmost importance for a wide range of remote-sensing applications and analyses, we developed a cloud mask algorithm, adapted from the Landsat 7 Automatic Cloud Cover Assessment, for use with the VIIRS Imagery EDRs. The algorithm consists of a sequence of pixel-based tests that use thresholds on VIIRS top-of-atmosphere reflectances and brightness temperatures. Our cloud mask algorithm provides a simpler, though less informative and robust, alternative to the VIIRS Cloud Mask (VCM) Intermediate Product, with the advantage in that it can be applied to a higher spatial resolution VIIRS Imagery EDR. The algorithm is compared with the VCM in three case studies.