Atmospheric correction and subsequent chlorophyll detection algorithms via remote sensing means were designed for use over the world's oceans. The algorithms seem to fail when used on data taken over the Laurentian Great Lakes. Two primary reasons for the failure have been identified as higher suspended minerals in the Great Lakes than in the oceans and normally higher cloud cover over the Great Lakes. A characterization of the impact of clouds on the radiance reaching remote sensing platforms has been performed. From this characterization, the impact on the calculated chlorophyll content determined by current algorithms is derived. The work presented here describes the creation of an end-to-end radiative transfer model for the complete sun-air-water-air-detector system and the application of that model to perform the cloud impact characterization. The radiative transfer model is modular; the modules relate to each propagation/scattering regime. Existing radiative transfer computer codes were used when the required accuracy and resolution could be met. The cloud module in particular represents an advance in the radiative transfer methods found in the literature.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Clouds--Remote sensing; Chlorophyll--Remote sensing; Water quality--Remote sensing

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


Schott, John

Advisor/Committee Member

Vodacek, Anthony

Advisor/Committee Member

Rhody, Harvey


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TD370 .F35 1999


RIT – Main Campus