Investigation of ice particle habits to be used for ice cloud remote sensing for the GCOM-C satellite mission
Abstract. In this study, various ice particle habits are investigated in conjunction with inferring the optical properties of ice clouds for use in the Global Change Observation Mission-Climate (GCOM-C) satellite programme. We develop a database of the single-scattering properties of five ice habit models: plates, columns, droxtals, bullet rosettes, and Voronoi. The database is based on the specification of the Second Generation Global Imager (SGLI) sensor on board the GCOM-C satellite, which is scheduled to be launched in 2017 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. A combination of the finite-difference time-domain method, the geometric optics integral equation technique, and the geometric optics method is applied to compute the single-scattering properties of the selected ice particle habits at 36 wavelengths, from the visible to the infrared spectral regions. This covers the SGLI channels for the size parameter, which is defined as a single-particle radius of an equivalent volume sphere, ranging between 6 and 9000 µm. The database includes the extinction efficiency, absorption efficiency, average geometrical cross section, single-scattering albedo, asymmetry factor, size parameter of a volume-equivalent sphere, maximum distance from the centre of mass, particle volume, and six nonzero elements of the scattering phase matrix. The characteristics of calculated extinction efficiency, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry factor of the five ice particle habits are compared. Furthermore, size-integrated bulk scattering properties for the five ice particle habit models are calculated from the single-scattering database and microphysical data. Using the five ice particle habit models, the optical thickness and spherical albedo of ice clouds are retrieved from the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectances-3 (POLDER-3) measurements, recorded on board the Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar (PARASOL) satellite. The optimal ice particle habit for retrieving the SGLI ice cloud properties is investigated by adopting the spherical albedo difference (SAD) method. It is found that the SAD is distributed stably due to the scattering angle increases for bullet rosettes with an effective diameter (Deff) of 10 µm and Voronoi particles with Deff values of 10, 60, and 100 µm. It is confirmed that the SAD of small bullet-rosette particles and all sizes of Voronoi particles has a low angular dependence, indicating that a combination of the bullet-rosette and Voronoi models is sufficient for retrieval of the ice cloud's spherical albedo and optical thickness as effective habit models for the SGLI sensor. Finally, SAD analysis based on the Voronoi habit model with moderate particle size (Deff = 60 µm) is compared with the conventional general habit mixture model, inhomogeneous hexagonal monocrystal model, five-plate aggregate model, and ensemble ice particle model. The Voronoi habit model is found to have an effect similar to that found in some conventional models for the retrieval of ice cloud properties from space-borne radiometric observations.