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Proceedings Paper

On-orbit radiometric validation and field-of-view calibration of spaceborne microwave sounding instruments
Author(s): William J. Blackwell; Laura J. Bickmeier; Laura G. Jairam; R. Vincent Leslie
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Paper Abstract

Two calibration/validation efforts planned for current and future spaceborne microwave sounding instruments will be presented. First, the NPOESS Aircraft Sounder Testbed-Microwave (NAST-M) airborne sensor is used to directly validate the microwave radiometers (AMSU and MHS) on several operational satellites. Comparison results for underflights of the Aqua, NOAA, and MetOp-A satellites will be shown. Second, a potential approach will be presented for on-orbit field-of-view (FOV) calibration of the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS). A variety of proposed spacecraft maneuvers that could facilitate the characterization of the radiometric boresight of all 22 ATMS channels will be discussed. Radiance observations from the NAST-M airborne sensor can be used to directly validate the radiometric performance of spaceborne sensors. NAST-M includes a total of four spectrometers, with three operating near the oxygen lines at 50-57, 118.75, and 424.76 GHz, and a fourth spectrometer centered on the water vapor absorption line at 183.31 GHz. All four feedhorns are co-located, have 3-dB (full-width at half-maximum) beamwidths of 7.5° (translating to 2.5-km nominal pixel diameter at nadir incidence), and are directed at a single mirror that scans cross-track beneath the aircraft with a nominal swath width of 100 km. We will present results for two recent validation efforts: 1) the Pacific THORpex (THe Observing-system Research and predictability experiment) Observing System Test (PTOST 2003, Honolulu, HI) and 2) the Joint Airborne IASI Validation Experiment (JAIVEx 2007, Houston, TX). Radiance differences between the NAST-M sensor and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) and the Microwave Humidity Sensor (MHS) were found to be less than 1K for most channels. Comparison results for ocean underflights of the Aqua, NOAA, and MetOp-A satellites are shown. We also present an approach for on-orbit FOV calibration of the ATMS satellite instrument using vicarious calibration sources with high spatial frequency content (the Earths limb, for example). The antenna beam is slowly swept across the target of interest and a constrained deconvolution approach is used to recover antenna pattern anomalies. Various proposed spacecraft maneuvers will be considered, with the intent to illustrate how each maneuver will help to identify and characterize possible FOV artifacts. Radiative transfer simulations that quantitatively assess the benefit of each satellite maneuver will also be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7154, Microwave Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Environment VI, 71540A (29 December 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.804948
Show Author Affiliations
William J. Blackwell, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Laura J. Bickmeier, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
Laura G. Jairam, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
R. Vincent Leslie, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7154:
Microwave Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Environment VI
Azita Valinia; Peter H. Hildebrand; Seiho Uratsuka, Editor(s)

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