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Proceedings Paper

Compensation for spectral darkening of short wave optics occurring on the cloud's and the Earth's radiant energy system
Author(s): Grant Matthews; Kory Priestley; Peter Spence; Denise Cooper; Dale Walikainen
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Paper Abstract

Cloud's and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is an investigation into the role of clouds and radiation in the Earth's climate system. Four CERES scanning thermistor bolometer instruments are currently in orbit. Flight model 1 (FM1) and 2 (FM2) are aboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra satellite and FM3 and FM4 are aboard the EOS Aqua satellite. Each CERES instrument measures in three broadband radiometric regions: the shortwave (SW 0.3-5μm), total (0.3- > 100μm), and window (8-12μm). It has been found that both CERES instruments on the Terra platform imply that the SW flux scattered from the Earth had dropped by up to 2% from 2000 to 2004. No climatological explanation for this drop could be found, suggesting the cause was a drift in both the Terra instruments. However, the onboard calibration lamps for the SW channels do not show a change in gain of this magnitude. Experience from other satellite missions has shown that optics in the orbital environment can become contaminated, severely reducing their transmission of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Since the calibration lamps emit little radiance in the UV spectral region it was suggested that contaminates could be responsible for an undetectable 'spectral darkening' of the CERES SW channel optics and hence the apparent drop in SW flux. Further evidence for this was found by looking at the comparison between simultaneous measurements made by FM1 and FM2. The proposed mechanisms for contaminant build up would not apply to a CERES instrument operating in the normal cross track scan mode. Indeed it was found from the comparison between CERES instruments on Terra that the response of the instrument operating in rotating azimuth plane (RAPS) mode consistently dropped relative to the other cross track instrument. Since at all times one of the instruments operates in cross track mode, where it is not subject to spectral darkening, it allowed that unit to be used as a calibration standard from which the darkening of the other RAPS instrument can be measured. A table of adjustment coefficients to compensate for this spectral darkening are therefore derived in this paper. These figures are designed to be multiplied by SW fluxes or radiances produced in the climate community using Edition 2 CERES data. SW CERES measurements that have been revised using these coeffcients are therefore to be referred to as ERBE-like Edition2_Rev1 or SSF Edition2B_Rev1 data in future literature. Current work to fully characterize the effect of spectral darkening on the instrument spectral response before the release of Edition 3 data is also described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 August 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5882, Earth Observing Systems X, 588212 (22 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.618972
Show Author Affiliations
Grant Matthews, Analytical Services and Materials (United States)
Kory Priestley, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Peter Spence, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Denise Cooper, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Dale Walikainen, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5882:
Earth Observing Systems X
James J. Butler, Editor(s)

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