SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY           NAME _______________________

DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES                                                               Spring 2011



Open Book and Open Notes

200 points, 80 minutes


1.  Compute the altitude of a geostationary orbit for Mars.  (radius = 3,397 km; mass=6.4219 X 1023 kg; orbital period=~24 h). (50 points)



Show all work.  Label all equations sequentially with numbers.


2.  Examine the satellite images below (55 points):



Satellite Image A



Satellite Image B


A.  State whether the satellite images were from the imagers of a geostationary satellite or a polar orbiter, and why. (15 points)


B.  State the size of a cloud element for the two images, and why.  (15 points)


C.  What is the cloud top temperature at the border of Lousiana and Mississippi? (10 points)


D.  Although the Satellite Image B uses a color enhancement curve, that enhancement most closely resembles which of the following grey scale enhancement curves:  (a) Standard; (b) ZA; (c) MB.  (5 points)


E.  The color enhancement probably is designed to highlight what features of meteorological significance.  Explain. (10 points)


3.  Examine the enhancement curve given below.  (20 points)


A.  What is the designation (name) of this enhancement curve? (10 points)


B.  At what two temperatures is the ZA enhancement designed to produce a marked grey-scale change obvious to the human eye. (10 points)




4.  The following image is a GOES-10 Visible 4 km image processed by the US Navy. (29 points)


Locate the following by putting the appropriate letter right on the image:  (a)  Cloud lines; (b)  Cloud band;  (c)  Cloud streets;  (d)  Narrow Cold Frontal Rain Band;  (e)  Open cell cumulus field; (f)  Closed cell cumulus field;  (g) an area in which the sea surface temperatures are warmer than the temperature of the overlying atmosphere; and (h) an area in which the sea surface temperatures are colder than the temperature of the overlying atmosphere.

5.  Examine the figure below.  (21 points)



(a)  Which instrument on the GOES platform senses the data used to create this plot? (5 points)


(b)  Although the plots of this sort are quite accurate, there is a danger in overrelying on them to infer potential for convection, for example.  Briefly state what that danger is. (8 points)


(c)  What does the red shading in the above figure indicate?   (8  points)


6.  Examine the MODIS image below: (25 points)



A.  State how you would know that this image was produced from data sensed by a polar orbiting satellite, even without legend information on the image. (5 points)


B.  The Terra satellite has a number of instruments on board.  One is the CERES series of sensors.  What do the CERES instruments measure? (10 points)


C.  The thermal infrared sensors for both the POES and GOES series detects infrared energy emitted by the earth and clouds passing through the so-called INFRARED or ATMOSPHERIC WINDOW.  Define the “infrared window” and give the approximate range of wavelengths to which it corresponds. (10 points)