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Proceedings Paper

Recent progress in neural network estimation of atmospheric profiles using microwave and hyperspectral infrared sounding data in the presence of clouds
Author(s): William J. Blackwell; Michael Pieper
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Paper Abstract

Recent work has demonstrated the feasibility of neural network estimation techniques for atmospheric profiling in partially cloudy atmospheres using combined microwave (MW) and hyperspectral infrared (IR) sounding data. In this paper, the retrieval performance in problem areas (over land, near the poles, elevated terrain, etc.) is examined. Retrieval performance has been improved by stratifying the neural network training data into distinct groups based on geographical (latitude, for example), geophysical (atmospheric pressure, for example), and sensor geometrical (scan angle, for example) considerations. The spectral information content of cloud signatures in Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) data is also explored. A Principal Components Analysis is presented that indicates that most variability due to clouds is contained in the first two eigenvectors. A novel statistical method for the retrieval of atmospheric temperature and moisture (relative humidity) profiles has been developed and evaluated with sounding data from the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU). The present work focuses on the cloud impact on the AIRS radiances and explores the use of stochastic cloud clearing mechanisms together with neural network estimation. A stand-alone statistical algorithm will be presented that operates directly on cloud-impacted AIRS/AMSU data, with no need for a physical cloud clearing process. The algorithm is implemented in three stages. First, the infrared radiance perturbations due to clouds are estimated and corrected by combined processing of the infrared and microwave data using a Stochastic Cloud Clearing (SCC) approach. The cloud clearing of the infrared radiances was performed using principal components analysis of infrared brightness temperature contrasts in adjacent fields of view and microwave-derived estimates of the infrared clear-column radiances to estimate and correct the radiance contamination introduced by clouds. Second, a Projected Principal Components (PPC) transform is used to reduce the dimensionality of and optimally extract geophysical profile information from the cloud-cleared infrared radiance data. Third, an artificial feedforward neural network (NN) is used to estimate the desired geophysical parameters from the projected principal components. The performance of this method was evaluated using global (ascending and descending) EOS-Aqua orbits co-located with ECMWF fields for a variety of days throughout 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Over 1,000,000 fields of regard (3x3 arrays of footprints) over ocean and land were used in the study. The method requires significantly less computation than traditional variational retrieval methods, while achieving comparable performance. Retrieval accuracy will be evaluated using ECMWF atmospheric fields as ground truth. The accuracy of the neural network retrieval method will be compared to the accuracy of the AIRS Level 2 (Version 5) retrieval method.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6966, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XIV, 696614 (11 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778733
Show Author Affiliations
William J. Blackwell, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Michael Pieper, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6966:
Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XIV
Sylvia S. Shen; Paul E. Lewis, Editor(s)

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