Articles | Volume 5, issue 3
Research article
15 Mar 2012
Research article |  | 15 Mar 2012

Temporal co-registration for TROPOMI cloud clearing

I. Genkova, J. Robaidek, R. Roebling, M. Sneep, and P. Veefkind

Abstract. The TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) is anticipated to provide high-quality and timely global atmospheric composition information through observations of atmospheric constituents such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, formaldehyde and aerosol properties. The methane and the aerosol retrievals require very precise cloud clearing, which is difficult to achieve at the TROPOMI spatial resolution (7 by 7 km) and without thermal IR measurements. The TROPOMI carrier – the Sentinel 5 Precursor (S5P), does not include a cloud imager, thus it is planned to fly the S5P mission in a constellation with an instrument yielding an accurate cloud mask. The cloud imagery data will be provided by the US NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) mission, which will have the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on board (Scalione, 2004). This paper investigates the temporal co-registration requirements for suitable time differences between the VIIRS measurements of clouds and the TROPOMI methane and aerosol measurements, so that the former could be used for cloud clearing. The temporal co-registration is studied using Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) data with 15 min temporal resolution (Veefkind, 2008b), and with data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – 10 (GOES-10) having 1 min temporal resolution. The aim is to understand and assess the relation between the amount of allowed cloud contamination and the required time difference between the two satellites' overflights. Quantitative analysis shows that a time difference of approximately 5 min is sufficient (in most conditions) to use the cloud information from the first instrument for cloud clearing in the retrievals using data from the second instrument. In recent years the A-train constellation demonstrated the benefit of flying satellites in formation. Therefore this study's findings will be useful for designing future Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations.