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The 3MI Mission: Multi-Viewing -Channel -Polarisation Imager of the


EUMETSAT Polar System -Second Generation (EPS-SG) dedicated to aerosol and
cloud monitoring

Article  in  Proc SPIE · September 2015


DOI: 10.1117/12.2186978

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The 3MI Mission: Multi-Viewing -Channel -Polarisation Imager of the
EUMETSAT Polar System - Second Generation (EPS-SG) dedicated to
aerosol and cloud monitoring
T. Marbach*a, J. Riedib, A. Lacana, P. Schlüssela
a
EUMETSAT, Eumetsat-Allee 1, 64295 Darmstadt, Germany ; bLaboratoire d'Optique
Atmosphérique, Université de Lille 1– Sciences et Technologies, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex,
France

ABSTRACT

The Multi-Viewing -Channel -Polarisation Imager (3MI), planned to fly on the EPS-SG platform in the time-frame
2020–2040, is a 2D wide field of view radiometer dedicated to aerosol and cloud characterisation for climate monitoring,
atmospheric composition, air quality and numerical weather prediction. The role of clouds in determining climate
sensitivity to change is highly uncertain, in particular due to their multiple and complex interactions with aerosols. Hence
new cloud observation systems (ground-based and space-borne) are needed for cloud monitoring.
The purpose of the 3MI is to provide multi-spectral (from 410 to 2130 nm), multi-polarisation (-60°, 0°, and +60°), and
multi-angular (10 to 14 views) images of the Earth top of atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiances. First results from the
3MI synthetic data simulator will be presented.
Although aerosol and cloud characterisation is the primary application, 3MI will further support observation of land-
surface characteristics which will benefit from the enhanced directional and polarisation measurements and provide a
better understanding of the Earth radiation budget.
3MI will also benefit from the synergy of other instruments flying onboard EPS-SG. Measurements from thermal
infrared channels will be available from the METimage and IASI-NG instruments. Furthermore, the Sentinel-5 will
provide information from the ultra-violet to the shortwave infrared, at a coarser horizontal sampling. The synergy with
these instruments will also support 3MI with beneficial cross-calibration as 3MI will not have an onboard calibration and
its radiometric performance will rely on vicarious calibration.
Keywords: 3MI, multi-angle, multi-spectral, multi-polarisation, cloud and aerosol remote sensing, climate monitoring,
atmospheric composition, air quality, numerical weather prediction, land-surface characteristics

1. INTRODUCTION
The Multi-View Multi-Channel Multi-Polarisation Imaging mission (3MI), planned to fly on the EPS-SG platform in the
time-frame 2020–2040 [1], is a 2D wide field of view radiometer dedicated to aerosol and cloud characterisation for
climate monitoring, atmospheric composition, as well as air quality and numerical weather prediction. The purpose of
the 3MI is to provide multi-spectral (from 410 to 2130 nm), multi-polarisation (-60°, 0°, and +60°), and multi-angular
(10 to 14 views) images of the Earth top of atmosphere outgoing radiance (Table 1). Although some measurements
provide redundant information, the information content of 3MI measurements on cloud properties (and also for the
retrievals of atmospheric aerosol and aerosol-cloud interaction studies) is much higher compared to the standard
measurements (e.g. MODIS) performing the measurements of only light intensity at a fixed observation angle and
several channels. The clear shortcoming of 3MI is the absence of thermal infrared channels. However, these
measurements will be available from the METimage and IASI-NG instruments planned to fly on the same satellite
platform allowing a synergetic cloud retrieval algorithm to be developed. Furthermore, the Sentinel-5 will provide
information from the ultra-violet to the short-wave infrared, through a coarser horizontal sampling.

Polarization Science and Remote Sensing VII, edited by Joseph A. Shaw,


Daniel A. LeMaster, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9613, 961310 · © 2015 SPIE
CCC code: 0277-786X/15/$18 · doi: 10.1117/12.2186978

Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9613 961310-1

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WOW
M-tvicit.30
W10,
- 114761.,41111

Figure 1. The 3MI concept, multi-view, multi-spectral, and multi-polarisation sampling.

Table 1. Description of the 3MI channels with a 4 km spatial resolution at nadir.

Channel Central Wavelength Optical Applications


(Polarisation) (channel width) head
3MI-2b 410 nm VNIR Absorbing aerosol and ash cloud monitoring
(Yes) (20 nm) Optical
3MI-3 443 nm head Aerosol absorption and height indicators
(Yes) (20 nm)
3MI-4 490 nm Aerosol, surface albedo, cloud reflectance, cloud
(Yes) (20 nm) optical depth
3MI-5 555 nm Surface albedo
(Yes) (20 nm)
3MI-6 670 nm Aerosol properties
(Yes) (20 nm)
3MI-7 763 nm Cloud and aerosol height
(No) (10 nm)
3MI-8 765 nm Cloud and aerosol height
(No) (40 nm)
3MI-9 865 nm Vegetation, aerosol, clouds, surface features
(Yes) (40 nm)
3MI-9a 910 nm VNIR Water vapour , atmospheric correction
(No) (20 nm)
3MI-9a 910 nm SWIR SWIR Geometrical calibration with 3MI-9a VNIR
(No) (20 nm) Optical
3MI-10 1370 nm head Cirrus clouds, water vapour imagery
(Yes) (40 nm)
3MI-11 1650 nm Ground characterisation for aerosol inversion
(Yes) (40 nm)
3MI-12 2130 nm 3MI-11 + Cloud microphysics at cloud top,
(Yes) (40 nm) Vegetation, fire (effects)

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The 3MI heritage comes from the POLDER/PARASOL missions (3 instruments flown since 1996) [2], which are based
on a mature technology, with proven reliability fundamental for EUMETSAT operational product policy. 3MI is a new
EUMETSAT mission and has therefore no link to EPS instruments. The 3MI design consists basically of a filter and
polariser wheel rotating in front of the detectors (Figure 1). For design purpose, the spectral channels have been split into
Visible Near Infrared (VNIR) and Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) filters and polarisers with dedicated detectors and optical
heads. The spectral channels are described in Table 1. The multi-polarisation (3 acquisitions within 1 s for the polarised
channels) and multi-spectral acquisitions are done within a wheel rotation period of less than 7 s. The multi-viewing
capability will be achieved by successive images of the same spectral channel observing the scene under different angles,
allowing up to 14 views per target (Figure 1). 3MI will be calibrated using vicarious calibration methods. The 3MI
observational requirements are documented in the EPS-SG End User Requirements Document (EURD [3]).

2. GEOPHYSICAL PRODUCTS
The geophysical variables to be generated from 3MI measurements include aerosol and cloud products as well as land
surface analyses. The primary objective of the 3MI mission is to provide high quality imagery of aerosol variables over
ocean and land through the provision of:
• Aerosol optical depths for accumulation, coarse and total modes at high horizontal resolution,
• Aerosol particle size for accumulation, coarse and total modes,
• Aerosol type through Ångström exponent, refractive index, non-sphericity index,
• Aerosol height index,
• Aerosol absorption.
Although aerosol characterisation is the primary application, 3MI will further support observation of cloud
microphysical properties, water vapour load, Earth radiation budget, and land-surface characteristics all of which will
benefit from the enhanced directional and polarisation measurements. Secondary mission objectives are dedicated to:
• Improved cloud characterisation through Cloud-mask, -imagery, -optical depth, -top height as well as Cloud
microphysics (phase and effective particle size),
• Land surfaces with Earth’s surface albedo and Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Functions (BRDFs),
• Vegetation characterisation through Leaf area index (LAI), Fraction of vegetated land, Photosynthetically
Active Radiation (PAR), Fraction Absorbed PAR (FAPAR), and Normalised Differential Vegetation Index
(NDVI).

3. SIMULATED DATA
Top of the atmosphere radiances for the full range of representative atmospheric and surface conditions have been
generated for the 3MI instrument. For this purpose full orbit propagation has been performed based on 3 test orbits
derived from EPS orbital parameters. Observation geometries (sensor reference frame) for 3MI have been simulated
based on instrument sampling characteristics. Geolocation and sampling geometries have served as input to radiative
transfer simulator in which surface and atmosphere (clouds, aerosols, gas) have been realistically described based on
ancillary information obtained for dates and time of required simulation (among which AVHRR products for clouds,
MACC reanalysis for aerosols, ECMWF reanalysis for atmospheric state, MODIS surface albedo climatology for land
properties). The simulated TOA radiances have been generated at level 1b, equivalent to the calibrated and geolocated
measurements.
From the polarized radiance images (Figure 2) illustrating 3MI observations, typical atmospheric polarization features
are clearly visible. To help in interpretation of those, isolines of scattering angles have been added every 10 degrees
allowing the easy identification of the backscatter direction (180 degrees) and the cloud bow produced by spherical
droplets in liquid clouds around 140 degrees of scattering angle. Except for the glory feature occurring over liquid
clouds, the backscatter area is dark because the polarization is almost zero when the scattering angle is close to a
maximum of 180 degrees (flagged as BS on Figure 2, Figure 3 and Figure 4).

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9000
ami 865 - HISTO of I - view #13 ami 865 -I- view #13
60 °N
8000 4.8

7000 55 °N 4.2

6000 3.6
50 °N

5000 3.0 IE
45 °N
4000 2.4

40 °N
G
3000 1.8 N

2000 35 °N
1.2

1000
30 °N 0.6

0
3 4 5 6 20 °W 10 °W 0° 10 °E 20 °E
radiance (14' z sr-')

3mi_865 -HISTO of \ÌQ2 +LP -view #13 3mi_865 - Vr Q° +LP - view #13
0.54
60 °N

0.48

BS
55 °N
0.42

50 °N 0.36 i

CB 0.30 E
45 °N

0.24
40 °N
G
0.18 N

35 °N 0.12

30 °N 0.06

0 00
0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 25 20 °W 10 °W 0° 10 °E 20 °E
radiance (Wm a -')

Figure 2. Example of 3MI observations in the 865 nm channel with total radiance (top) and polarized radiance (bottom).
Histograms of simulated values are provided for indication of signal levels. The observations have been simulated using data
from the 12/09/2007.

Another noticeable polarization feature is produced by Fresnel reflection, which is a highly polarizing process that
produces clearly recognizable structures. In particular the sun glitter on the ocean surfaces will generate bright spots on
the total radiance as well as a strong signal in the polarized radiance (flagged as G in Figure 2). The sun glitter expansion
is depending on the roughness of the sea surface: the rougher the sea surface, the wider the expansion. At the opposite,
very smooth and flat surfaces (low winds over ocean, lakes and rivers, wetlands) will tend to produce very intense and
sharp glint pattern. The images in Figure 4 illustrate the reduced along track FOV of the SWIR optical head. Note that
the SWIR focal plane array is centered on the VIS one, and that acquisition rate is doubled to compensate partly for the
reduced along track instantaneous swath. Therefore, for the example acquisition sequence illustrated here, the view
number 9 in VIS (Figure 3) and corresponds roughly to view number 17 in SWIR (Figure 4).

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4000
ami 865 - HISTO of 7 - view #9 ami 865 -I - view #9

5.6
3500 45 °N
max. rad. = 7.53
min. rad. = 0.23 4.8
3000 40 °N

4.0 ¡
2500 35 °N

2000 3.2
30 °N
u

1500 2.4 v
25 °N
N

1000 1.6
20 °N

500
15 °N 0.B

1 2 3 4 5 8 0° 10 °E 20 °E 30 °E
radiance (N

3m i_1365 -HISTO of \r Q2 +LP - view #9 3m i_1365 - /Q2 +V2 - view #9


25000
0.135
45 °N
max. rad. = 1.11 0.120
20000 min. rad. = 0.00
40 °N 0.105
BS
35 °N 0.090
15000

0.075 3
30 °N
u
0.060
10000
25 °N
0.045 N

20 °N 0.030
5000

15 °N 0.015

o 0 000
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.B 1.0 12 0° 10 °E 20 °E 30 °E
raClance(Wm a -fl

Figure 3. Example of 3MI observations in the 865 nm channel with total radiance (top) and polarized radiance (bottom).
Histograms of simulated values are provided for indication of signal levels. The observations have been simulated using data
from the 23/02/2008.

Another interesting pattern is the cloud bow which is characteristic of the scattering of light by spherical water droplets
observed at a scattering angle of 140°. In such viewing conditions, liquid water clouds have a strong polarizing effect
which clearly distinguishes them from ice clouds (flagged as CB in Figure 2). Also thin cloud structures will be visible in
the polarized radiance as shown on Figure 3 by comparing the total and polarized radiance observations. Combining the
polarization with the multi-directionality and the multi-spectral capabilities of 3MI will also enable to analyze surface
characteristics and allow observation of specific features such as the hotspot [4] [5].

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3mi 1650 - HISTO of I - view #17 3mi 1650 -I- view #17

1.05
45 °N

0.90
40 °N

0.75'
35 °N
E
0.60
30 °N

0.45 m
25 °N

0.30
20 °N

0.15
15 °N

0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 18 0° 10 °E 20 °E 30 °E


radiance (Wm a sr-fl

3m i_1650 -HISTO of \/Q2 +02 - view #17 3m i_1650 - Vr Q° +02 - view #17
25000 0.054

45 °N 0.048
max. rad. = 0.45
20000 min. rad. = 0.00
0.042
40 °N

BS 0.036
15000 35 °N
0.030

30 °N
0.024 u
10000
25 °N 0.018 N

0.012
5000 20 °N

0.006
15 °N

0 0 000
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 05 0° 10 °E 20 °E 30 °E
raCiance(Wm' -')

Figure 4. Example of 3MI observations in the 1650 nm channel with total radiance (top) and polarized radiance (bottom).
Histograms of simulated values are provided for indication of signal levels. The reduced SWIR FOV can be compared to the
VIS FOV from Figure 3. The observations have been simulated using data from the 23/02/2008.

The multi-polarization capability associated to the multi -view and –spectral capabilities will also provide valuable
information on the aerosol load in the atmosphere (after subtraction of the molecular scattering and ground polarized
contributions). The aerosols’ impact on the radiative forcing of the Earth’s atmosphere is one of the parameters described
in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report with the highest uncertainty (Figure 5). Although
minor constituents of the atmosphere, their impact is direct through the diffusion and absorption of solar radiation, and
indirect, through their interaction with clouds (condensation nuclei affect the microphysical properties of clouds). The
3MI products will allow a better description of the aerosols behaviour in the radiation budget of the Earth. Particle size,
absorption properties and spatial distribution can also be used for separating natural from anthropogenic aerosols.
Furthermore, other parameters relevant to evaluation of climate change (greenhouse gas, albedo) could directly or
indirectly benefit from 3MI products through an improved constraint on model parameters (aerosol, cloud and surface
characterisation).

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Emitted Resulting atmospheric Level of
compound drivers
Radiative forcing by emissions and drivers confidence
I

ái CO2 CO2 I I i I 1.68 [1.33 to 2.03] VH


I I
ó I I

o
I-i-
I

CHq CO2 HZOsc 03 CHq 0.97 [0.74 to 1.20] H


.
I I

Halo I I I

a 03 CFCs HCFCs I 0.18 [0.01


[ to 0.35]
0.35 H
x carbons I I
1---1 I I 1

I I I I I

N20 Nz0 I I I I I i 0.17 [0.13 to 0.21] VH


I I I
I I

I
I
I I I I

CO CO2 CH4 03 I 1 0.23 [0.16 to 0.30] M


rn y I I

O. o I I I I

- NMVOC CO2 CH4 03 I I I I I 0.10 [0.05 to 0.15] M


a I

ó
I
I I I I

NOx Nitrate CH4 03 I I


I I I 1 -0.15 [-0.34 to 0.03] M
m I

ra
I
I I
I I

Aerosols and Mineral dust Sulphate Nitrate


o precursors
I I
I -0.27 [-0.77 to 0.23] H
Organic carbon Black carbon I

-c-, (Mineral dust, I I I I I


I

SO2, NH3,
Organic carbon
Cloud adjustments I I I I

I -0.55 [-1.33 to -0.06] L


and Black carbon) due to aerosols I
I I I

Albedo change
I
I I
I
I

1+1 I -0.15 [-0.25 to -0.05] M


due to land use
I I
1
I

I I I
I

- Changes in I
[0 0.05 [0.00 to 0.10]
1
I I
M
z solar irradiance 1
1
1
I

2.29 [1.13 to 3.33]


2011 I H
Total anthropogenic 1

I 1.25 [0.64 to 1.86] H


RF relative to 1750 1980
1

1950 I 1 0.57 [0.29 to 0.85] M


I

I 1 1 I I I

-1 0 1 2 3
Radiative forcing relative to 1750 (W m -2)
Figure 5. Radiative forcing estimates in 2011 relative to 1750 and aggregated uncertainties for the main drivers of climate
change. Values are global average radiative forcing (RF14), partitioned according to the emitted compounds or processes
that result in a combination of drivers. The best estimates of the net radiative forcing are shown as black diamonds with
corresponding uncertainty intervals; the numerical values are provided on the right of the figure, together with the
confidence level in the net forcing (VH – very high, H – high, M – medium, L – low, VL – very low). Albedo forcing due to
black carbon on snow and ice is included in the black carbon aerosol bar. Small forcings due to contrails (0.05 W m–2,
including contrail induced cirrus), and HFCs, PFCs and SF6 (total 0.03 W m–2) are not shown. Concentration-based RFs for
gases can be obtained by summing the like-coloured bars. Volcanic forcing is not included as its episodic nature makes it
difficult to compare to other forcing mechanisms. Total anthropogenic radiative forcing is provided for three different years
relative to 1750 [6].

The 3MI products will be as well beneficial to the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) by improving sounding and
imaging data from METimage, Sentinel-5, and IASI-NG with a better constraint on the artefacts induced by scattering
and polarisation of radiation by aerosols and the identification of cirrus clouds. The anisotropy of scattering correction is
becoming increasingly important in NWP for the representation of radiative processes in the atmosphere. Furthermore, in
order to improve the Earth-atmosphere boundary conditions, multi-viewing observations are needed to derive surface
BRDFs which is essential for computing surface radiative variables in terms of irradiance, and to describe surface albedo
(e.g. by deriving vegetation indices).

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In general the 3MI products will be used to improve air quality monitoring applications (e.g. aerosol mass load for
particles smaller than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) or 10 µm (PM10)). Combined with the aerosols’ absorption index, natural hazards
like volcanic ash or fire plumes can also be observed thus contributing to now-casting for ash and fire detection.

4. OUTLOOK
The simulated data have been primarily produced to further prepare the 3MI mission by consolidating the ground
segment definition (data size and format). However, thanks to their realism and fidelity to realistic atmospheric
conditions, these simulated data will also support the development of data processing algorithm as well as the definition
of the vicarious calibration methods. Eventually, the goal is to develop an efficient data processing system suitable to
EUMETSAT needs such as the near real time dissemination. The calibration/validation plan will also take into account
of the solid heritage coming from the POLDER/PARASOL missions.

REFERENCES

[1] EUMETSAT’s webpage on the “EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation (EPS-SG)”,
http://www.eumetsat.int/website/home/Satellites/FutureSatellites/EUMETSATPolarSystemSecondGeneration/index
.html, (2015)
[2] CNES’s webpage on “POLDER instrument”, http://missions-scientifiques.cnes.fr/POLDER/lien3_instr.htm, (2003)
[3] EUMETSAT Polar System – Second Generation End User Requirements Document, version 3C, internal reference
EUM/PEPS/REQ/09/0151 (2015).
[4] Grant, I.F., Heyraud, C., and Bréon, F.M., “Continental Scale hotspot observations of Australia at sub-degree
angular resolution from POLDER,” Int. J. Rem. Sens., 25 (18), 3625-3636 (2004).
[5] Bréon, F.-M., Maignan, F., Leroy, M., and Grant, I., “Analysis of hot spot directional signatures measured from
space,” J. Geophys. Res., 107, (D16), doi:10.1029/2001JD001094, (2002).
[6] IPCC, 2013: Summary for Policymakers, “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of
Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Stocker, T.F.,
D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.),
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1–30,
doi:10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004, (2013).

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