The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) on the ENVISAT satellite measures limb IR spectra in the 4 to 15 micron range. The instrument has measured nearly continuously from September 2002 to March 2004. The ESA operational level 1 and 2 products for this period include so far no direct information on clouds and aerosols. This is not a surprising fact, because the analysis and retrieval of cloud parameter from limb IR spectra are still challenging tasks for radiative transport applications. As part of an ESA funded study the MIPclouds consortium has investigated improvements and new developments in the detection and type classification of cloudy spectra (PSC types, liquid/ice), the retrieval of micro-physical and macro-physical parameters from the spectra, such as cloud top heights, extinction and temperature, and estimates of particle sizes and ice water content of the cloud. Results of a corresponding feasibility study will be presented. Final goal of the project is to develop a fast (near-real-time) and validated prototype processor for the analysis of the first MIPAS measurement period.
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