Article ID: 2018-036
The present study implements long-term surface observed radiation data (pyranometer observed global flux and sky radiometer observed spectral zenith transmittance data) of multiple SKYNET sites to validate water cloud optical properties (cloud optical depth COD and effective radius Re) observed from space by MODIS onboard TERRA and AQUA satellites and AHI onboard Himawari-8 satellite. Despite some degrees of differences in COD and Re between MODIS and AHI, they both showed common features when validated using surface based global flux data as well as cloud properties retrieved from sky radiometer observed zenith transmittance data. In general, CODs from both satellite sensors are found to overestimated when clouds are optically thin. Among a number of factors (spatial and temporal variations of cloud, sensor and solar zenith angles), the solar zenith angle (SZA) is found to have an impact on COD difference between reflectance based satellite sensor and transmittance based sky radiometer. The Re values from the sky radiometer and satellite sensor are generally poorly correlated. The difference in Re between the sky radiometer and satellite sensor is negatively correlated with COD difference between them, which is likely due to the inherent influence of Re retrieval precision on COD retrieval and vice versa in transmittance based sky radiometer.