Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2023-186
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2023-186
15 May 2024
 | 15 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Simulation and detection efficiency analysis for polar mesospheric clouds measurements using a spaceborne wide field of view ultraviolet imager

Ke Ren, Haiyang Gao, Shuqi Niu, Shaoyang Sun, Leilei Kou, Yanqing Xie, Liguo Zhang, and Lingbing Bu

Abstract. The variation trends and characteristics of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs) are important for studying the evolution of atmospheric systems and understanding various atmospheric dynamic processes. Through observation and analysis of PMCs, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms driving atmospheric processes, providing a scientific basis and support for addressing climate change. Ultraviolet (UV) imaging technology, adopted by the Cloud Imaging and Particle Size (CIPS) instrument onboard the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite, has significantly advanced the research on PMCs. Due to the retirement of the AIM satellite, there is currently no concrete plan for next-generation instruments based on the CIPS model, resulting in a discontinuity in the observation data sequence.

In this study, we propose a compact and cost-effective wide field-of-view ultraviolet imager (WFUI) that can be integrated into various satellite platforms for future PMCs observation missions. A forward model was built to evaluate the detection capability and efficiency of the WFUI. The fusion of CIPS and solar occultation for ice experiment (SOFIE) data was employed to reconstruct a three-dimensional PMCs scene as the input background. Based on the scattering and extinction characteristics of ice particles and atmospheric molecules, the radiative transfer was calculated using the solar radiation path through the atmosphere and PMCs. The optical system and satellite platform parameters of the WFUI were selected according to the CIPS, enabling the calculation of the number of photons received by the WFUI. The actual detection signal is then simulated by photoelectric conversion, and the PMCs information can be obtained by removing detector noise. Subsequently, a comparison with the input background field was conducted to compute and analyze the detection efficiency. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis of the instrument and platform parameters was conducted.

Simulations were performed for both individual orbits and for the entire PMCs seasons. The research results demonstrate that using data from 2008 to 2012 revealed an exponential relationship between the ice water content (IWC) of PMCs and detection efficiency. During the initial and final durations of the PMCs season, when the IWC was relatively low, the detection efficiency the WFUI performs well in PMCs detection and has high detection efficiency. Statistical analysis of the detection efficiency remained limited. However, as the season progressed and the IWC increased, the detection efficiency significantly improved. We note that regions at lower latitudes exhibited a lower IWC and, consequently, lower detection efficiency. In contrast, regions at higher latitudes, with a greater IWC, demonstrated better detection efficiency. Additionally, the sensitivity analysis results suggest that increasing the satellite orbit altitude and expanding the field of view (FOV) of the WFUI both contribute to improving the detection efficiency.

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Ke Ren, Haiyang Gao, Shuqi Niu, Shaoyang Sun, Leilei Kou, Yanqing Xie, Liguo Zhang, and Lingbing Bu

Status: open (until 19 Jun 2024)

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Ke Ren, Haiyang Gao, Shuqi Niu, Shaoyang Sun, Leilei Kou, Yanqing Xie, Liguo Zhang, and Lingbing Bu
Ke Ren, Haiyang Gao, Shuqi Niu, Shaoyang Sun, Leilei Kou, Yanqing Xie, Liguo Zhang, and Lingbing Bu
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Latest update: 15 May 2024
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Short summary
Ultraviolet (UV) imaging technology has significantly advanced the research and development of polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs). In this study, we proposed the wide field-of-view ultraviolet imager (WFUI) and built a forward model to evaluate the detection capability and efficiency. The research results demonstrate that the WFUI performs well in PMCs detection and has high detection efficiency. The relationship between IWC and detection efficiency follows an exponential function distribution.