tsi > Total Sky ImagerInstrument Type(s) > Baseline • External • Guest

The total sky imager (TSI) measures the fraction of the sky view covered by clouds.

It provides time series of hemispheric sky images during daylight hours and retrievals of fractional sky cover for periods when the solar elevation is greater than 10 degrees. To view current sky cover retrievals at the ARM sites, see the TSI most recent sky images.


The purpose is to visually identify inhomogeneities in cloud cover in 15-minute intervals and to diagnose causes for data discrepency between wide-field-of-view and narrow-field-of-view measurements of shallow cumulus cloud cover.

Primary Derived Measurements


  • Fixed
  • AMF1
  • AMF2
  • AMF3

Data Details

Developed By Jessica Kleiss | Erin Riley
Contact Erin Riley
Resource(s) Data Directory
Data format png, csv
Site SGP
Content time range 1 July 2000 - 27 June 2022
Attribute accuracy The QC field is called QC1530. Values of 1(good data) passes requirements for input data availability and quality control on multiple cloud layers and TSI data quality. Described in readme.txt
Positional accuracy No formal positional accuracy tests were conducted.
Data Consistency and Completeness The QC field is called QC1530. Values of 1(good data) pass requirements for input data availability and quality control on multiple cloud layers and TSI data quality. Described in readme.txt Data were acquired May-September, days with single-layer shallow cumulus only.
Access Restriction No access constraints are associated with this data.
Use Restriction No use constraints are associated with this data.
File naming convention "sgptsiquicklookC1_20000703.png": (site)(instrument)(quicklook)(facility)_(yyyymmdd).png ; sgptsiQLtableC1_20000708.csv: (site)(instrument)(QLtable)(facility)_(yyyymmdd).csv
Directory Organization two folders with files in them 1) images 2) data
Citations Riley, EA, JM Kleiss, LD Riihimaki, CN Long, LK Berg, and E Kassianov. 201). "Beyond field-of-view: Challenges in assigning uncertainties in shallow cumulus cloud fraction." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. (in preparation)


Geerts B, S Giangrande, G McFarquhar, L Xue, S Abel, J Comstock, S Crewell, P DeMott, K Ebell, P Field, T Hill, A Hunzinger, M Jensen, K Johnson, T Juliano, P Kollias, B Kosovic, C Lackner, E Luke, C Lüpkes, A Matthews, R Neggers, M Ovchinnikov, H Powers, M Shupe, T Spengler, B Swanson, M Tjernström, A Theisen, N Wales, Y Wang, M Wendisch, and P Wu. 2022. "The COMBLE campaign: a study of marine boundary-layer clouds in Arctic cold-air outbreaks." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, , 10.1175/BAMS-D-21-0044.1.

Kollias P. 2022. Quantitative Ceilometer-Radar Studies of Clouds Field Campaign Report. Ed. by Robert Stafford, ARM user facility. DOE/SC-ARM-22-001. 10.2172/1846611.

Shupe M, M Rex, B Blomquist, P Persson, J Schmale, T Uttal, D Althausen, H Angot, S Archer, L Bariteau, I Beck, J Bilberry, S Bucci, C Buck, M Boyer, Z Brasseur, I Brooks, R Calmer, J Cassano, V Castro, D Chu, D Costa, C Cox, J Creamean, S Crewell, S Dahlke, E Damm, G de Boer, H Deckelmann, K Dethloff, M Dütsch, K Ebell, A Ehrlich, J Ellis, R Engelmann, A Fong, M Frey, M Gallagher, L Ganzeveld, R Gradinger, J Graeser, V Greenamyer, H Griesche, S Griffiths, J Hamilton, G Heinemann, D Helmig, A Herber, C Heuzé, J Hofer, T Houchens, D Howard, J Inoue, H Jacobi, R Jaiser, T Jokinen, O Jourdan, G Jozef, W King, A Kirchgaessner, M Klingebiel, M Krassovski, T Krumpen, A Lampert, W Landing, T Laurila, D Lawrence, M Lonardi, B Loose, C Lüpkes, M Maahn, A Macke, W Maslowski, C Marsay, M Maturilli, M Mech, S Morris, M Moser, M Nicolaus, P Ortega, J Osborn, F Pätzold, D Perovich, T Petäjä, C Pilz, R Pirazzini, K Posman, H Powers, K Pratt, A Preußer, L Quéléver, M Radenz, B Rabe, A Rinke, T Sachs, A Schulz, H Siebert, T Silva, A Solomon, A Sommerfeld, G Spreen, M Stephens, A Stohl, G Svensson, J Uin, J Viegas, C Voigt, P von der Gathen, B Wehner, J Welker, M Wendisch, M Werner, Z Xie, and F Yue. 2022. "Overview of the MOSAiC expedition—Atmosphere." Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 10(1), 10.1525/elementa.2021.00060.
Research Highlight

Ye J, L Liu, Q Wang, S Hu, and S Li. 2022. "A Novel Machine Learning Algorithm for Planetary Boundary Layer Height Estimation Using AERI Measurement Data." IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 19, 1002305, 10.1109/LGRS.2021.3073048.


Shin H, L Xue, W Li, G Firl, D D’Amico, D Muñoz‐Esparza, M Ek, Y Chu, Z Wang, W Gustafson, and A Vogelmann. 2021. "Large‐Scale Forcing Impact on the Development of Shallow Convective Clouds Revealed from LASSO Large‐Eddy Simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126(20), e2021JD035208, 10.1029/2021JD035208.

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