|Title||Quantifying the impact of cloud cover on ground radiation flux measurements using hemispherical images|
|Author(s)||Roupioz, L.; Colin, J.; Jia, L.; Nerry, F.; Menenti, M.|
|Source||International Journal of Remote Sensing 36 (2015)19-20. - ISSN 0143-1161 - p. 5087 - 5104.|
|Department(s)||Alterra - Earth informatics|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
Linking observed or estimated ground incoming solar radiation with cloud coverage is difficult since the latter is usually poorly described in standard meteorological observation protocols. To investigate the benefits of detailed observation and characterization of cloud coverage and distribution, a fieldwork campaign has been set up in order to collect data about cloud cover conditions and daily evolution to directly analyse their impacts on solar radiation fluxes. To do so, daytime hemispherical images have been collected at a very high frequency, simultaneously to ground measurements of solar radiation fluxes in a scientific station close to Lake NamCo, China. After calibration, one of the main tasks was the classification of those hemispherical images and the extraction of meaningful indices to describe the cloud cover, such as cloud fraction or cloud cover distribution. The classification is based on automatic detection of threshold on the red channel histogram. The results show that several cloud indices could be successfully derived from the hemispherical images, even if very thin clouds can be difficult to detect. The indices are then correlated to the measured solar radiation values and the impact of cloud cover on surface radiation fluxes were analysed. This analysis highlights that, more than the cloud fraction, the cloud distribution in the hemisphere is of importance when modelling radiation fluxes in the solar domain.