Capability of multi-viewing-angle photo-polarimetric measurements for the simultaneous retrieval of aerosol and cloud properties
Abstract. An important new challenge in the field of multi-angle photo-polarimetric satellite remote sensing is the retrieval of aerosol properties under cloudy conditions. In this paper the possibility has been explored to perform a simultaneous retrieval of aerosol and cloud properties for partly cloudy scenes and for fully cloudy scenes where the aerosol layer is located above the cloud, using multi-angle photo-polarimetric measurements. Also, for clear sky conditions a review is given of the capabilities of multi-angle photo-polarimetric measurements in comparison with other measurement types. It is shown that already for clear sky conditions polarization measurements are highly important for the retrieval of aerosol optical and microphysical properties over land surfaces with unknown reflection properties. Furthermore, it is shown that multi-angle photo-polarimetric measurements have the capability to distinguish between aerosols and clouds, and thus facilitate a simultaneous retrieval of aerosol and cloud properties. High accuracy (0.002–0.004) of the polarimetric measurements plays an essential role here.