Visualization of A-Train vertical profiles using Google Earth

Chen, A., G. G. Leptoukh, S. J. Kempler, C. Lynnes, A. Savtchenko, D. Nadeau, and J. Farley (2009), Visualization of A-Train vertical profiles using Google Earth, Computers & Geosciences, 35, 419-427, doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2008.08.006.

Online tools, such as those pioneered by Google Earth (GE), are changing the way in which scientists and the general public interact with three-dimensional geospatial data in a virtual environment. However, while GE provides a number of features to facilitate geospatial data visualization, there is currently no readily available method for rendering vertical geospatial data derived from Earth—viewing remote sensing satellites as an orbit curtain seen from above. Here, a solution (one of many possible) is demonstrated to render vertical profiles of atmospheric data from the A-Train satellite formation in GE, using as a proof-of-concept data from one of the instruments—the NASA CloudSat satellite. CloudSat carries a nadir-viewing Cloud Profiling Radar that produces data revealing the vertical distribution of cloud characteristics along the satellite track. These data are first rendered into a long vertical image for a user-selected spatial range through the NASA Goddard Interactive Online Visualization ANd aNalysis

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