Reconstruction of Cloud Vertical Structure with a Generative Adversarial Network

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 2 of this Preprint.


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Jussi Leinonen, Alexandre Guillaume, Tianle Yuan


We demonstrate the feasibility of solving atmospheric remote sensing problems with machine learning using conditional generative adversarial networks (CGANs), implemented using convolutional neural networks (CNNs). We apply the CGAN to generating two-dimensional cloud vertical structures that would be observed by the CloudSat satellite-based radar, using only the collocated Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) measurements as input. The CGAN is usually able to generate reasonable guesses of the cloud structure, and can infer complex structures such as multilayer clouds from the MODIS data. This network, which is formulated probabilistically, also estimates the uncertainty of its own predictions. We examine the statistics of the generated data, and analyze the response of the network to each input parameter. The success of the CGAN in solving this problem suggests that generative adversarial networks are applicable to a wide range of problems in atmospheric science, a field characterized by complex spatial structures and observational uncertainties.



Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Atmospheric Sciences, Computer Sciences, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Clouds, MODIS, GAN, cloudsat, generative adversarial network, radar


Published: 2019-02-19 13:49

Last Updated: 2019-05-02 05:26

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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