WindCam and MSPI: Two cloud and aerosol instrument concepts derived from Terra/MISR heritage

David J. Diner, Michael Michael, Russell A. Chipman, Ab Davis, Brian Cairns, Roger Davies, Ralph A. Kahn, Jan Peter Muller, Omar Torres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) has been acquiring global cloud and aerosol data from polar orbit since February 2000. MISR acquires moderately high-resolution imagery at nine view angles from nadir to 70.5°, in four visible/near-infrared spectral bands. Stereoscopic parallax, time lapse among the nine views, and the variation of radiance with angle and wavelength enable retrieval of geometric cloud and aerosol plume heights, height-resolved cloud-tracked winds, and aerosol optical depth and particle property information. Two instrument concepts based upon MISR heritage are in development. The Cloud Motion Vector Camera, or WindCam, is a simplified version comprised of a lightweight, compact, wide-angle camera to acquire multiangle stereo imagery at a single visible wavelength. A constellation of three WindCam instruments in polar Earth orbit would obtain height-resolved cloud-motion winds with daily global coverage, making it a low-cost complement to a spaceborne lidar wind measurement system. The Multiangle SpectroPolarimetric Imager (MSPI) is aimed at aerosol and cloud microphysical properties, and is a candidate for the National Research Council Decadal Survey's Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission. MSPI combines the capabilities of MISR with those of other aerosol sensors, extending the spectral coverage to the ultraviolet and shortwave infrared and incorporating high-accuracy Polarimetrie imaging. Based on requirements for the non-imaging Aerosol Polarimeter Sensor on NASA's Glory mission, a degree of linear polarization uncertainty of 0.5% is specified within a subset of the MSPI bands. We are developing a polarization imaging approach using photoelastic modulators (PEMs) to accomplish this objective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth Observing Systems XIII
StatePublished - 2008
EventEarth Observing Systems XIII - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2008Aug 13 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherEarth Observing Systems XIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Aerosols
  • Cloud motion winds
  • Clouds
  • Photoelastic modulators
  • Plumes
  • Polarimetry
  • Stereo imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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