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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-188
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-188
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 08 Oct 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 08 Oct 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

Comparative analysis of atmospheric radiative transfer models using the Atmospheric Look-up table Generator (ALG) toolbox (version 2.0)

Jorge Vicent1,2, Jochem Verrelst2, Neus Sabater3, Luis Alonso2, Juan Pablo Rivera-Caicedo4, Luca Martino5, Jordi Muñoz-Marí2, and José Moreno2 Jorge Vicent et al.
  • 1Magellium, Toulouse, France
  • 2Image Processing Laboratory, Universitat de València, 46980 Paterna (Valencia), Spain
  • 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
  • 4Secretary of Research and Graduate Studies, CONACYT-UAN, 63155 Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
  • 5Departamento de Teoria de la Señal y Comunicaciones, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, 28943 Fuenlabrada (Madrid), Spain

Abstract. Atmospheric radiative transfer models (RTMs) are software tools that help researchers in understanding the radiative processes occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere. Given their importance in remote sensing applications, the intercomparison of atmospheric RTMs is therefore one of the main tasks to evaluate model performance and identify the characteristics that differ between models. This can be a tedious tasks that requires a good knowledge of the model inputs-outputs and generation of large databases of consistent simulations. With the evolution of these software tools, their increase in complexity bears implications towards their use in practical applications and model intercomparison. Existing RTM-specific graphical user interfaces are not optimized for performing intercomparison studies of a wide variety of atmospheric RTMs. In this paper, we present the Atmospheric Look-up table Generator (ALG) version 2.0, a new software tool that facilitates generating large databases for a variety of atmospheric RTMs. ALG facilitates consistent and intuitive user interaction to enable running model executions and storing RTM data for any spectral configuration in the optical domain. We demonstrate the utility of ALG to perform intercomparison studies and global sensitivity analysis of broadly used atmospheric RTMs (6SV, MODTRAN, libRadtran). We expect that providing ALG to the research community will facilitate the usage of atmospheric RTMs to a wide range of applications in Earth Observation.

Jorge Vicent et al.
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Latest update: 15 Oct 2019
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Short summary
The modelling of light propagation through the atmosphere is key to process satellite images and to understand atmospheric processes. However, existing atmospheric models can be complex for using them in practical applications. Here we aim at providing a new software tool to facilitate using advanced models and to generate large databases of simulated data. As a test case, we use this tool to analyze differences between several atmospheric models, showing the capabilities of this freesource tool
The modelling of light propagation through the atmosphere is key to process satellite images and...
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