Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Liu, C., P. Yang, S. L. Nasiri, S. Platnick, K. G. Meyer, C. Wang, and S. Ding (2015), A fast Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite simulator for cloudy atmospheres, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 240–255, doi:10.1002/ 2014JD022443.


U.S. government work.


A fast instrument simulator is developed to simulate the observations made in cloudy atmospheres by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). The correlated k distribution technique is used to compute the transmissivities associated with absorbing atmospheric gases. The bulk scattering properties of ice clouds are based on the ice model used for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Collection 6 ice cloud products, and those of water clouds are computed with the Lorenz-Mie theory. Two fast radiative transfer models based on precomputed ice cloud look-up tables are used for the VIIRS solar and infrared channels. The accuracy and efficiency of the fast simulator are quantified in comparison with a combination of the rigorous line-by-line (LBLRTM) and discrete ordinate radiative transfer (DISORT) models. The maximum relative errors of the simulator are less than 2% for simulated top of atmosphere reflectances at the solar channels, and the brightness temperature differences for the infrared channels are less than 0.2 K. The simulator is over 3 orders of magnitude faster than the benchmark LBLRTM+ DISORT model. Furthermore, the cloudy atmosphere reflectances and brightness temperatures from the fast VIIRS simulator compare favorably with those from VIIRS observations.