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A novel approach, using low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite microwave communication links for cloud liquid water measurements, is proposed in this paper. The feasibility of this approach is studied through simulations of the retrieval system including a LEO satellite communicating with a group of ground receivers equipped with signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) estimators, a synthetic cloud attenuation field and a tomographic retrieval algorithm. Rectangular and Gaussian basis functions are considered to define the targeted field. Simulation results suggest that the proposed least-squares based retrieval algorithm produces satisfactory outcomes for both types of basis functions. The root-mean-square error of the retrieved field is around 0.2 dB/km, with the range of the reference field as 0 to 2.35 dB/km. It is also confirmed that the partial retrieval of the cloud field is achievable when a limited number of receivers with restricted locations are available. The retrieval outcomes exhibit properties of high resolution and low error, indicating that the proposed approach has great potential for cloud observations.
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