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Proceedings Paper

TICFIRE: a far infrared payload to monitor the evolution of thin ice clouds
Author(s): Jean-Pierre Blanchet; Alain Royer; François Châteauneuf; Yacine Bouzid; Yann Blanchard; Jean-François Hamel; Jean de Lafontaine; Pierre Gauthier; Norman T. O'Neill; Ovidiu Pancrati; Louis Garand
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Paper Abstract

The TICFIRE mission concept developed with the support of the Canadian Space Agency aims: 1) to improve measurements of water-vapour concentration in the low limit, where cold regions are most sensitive and 2) to determine the contribution of Thin Ice Clouds (TIC) to the energy balance and the role of their microphysical properties on atmospheric cooling. TICFIRE is a process-oriented mission on a micro-satellite platform dedicated to observe key parameters of TIC forming in the cold regions of the Poles and globally, in the upper troposphere. It locates cloud top profiles at the limb and measures at nadir the corresponding upwelling radiance of the atmosphere directly in the thermal window and in the Far Infrared (FIR) spectrum over cold geographical regions, precisely where most of the atmospheric thermal cooling takes place. Due to technological limitations, the FIR spectrum (17 to 50 μm) is not regularly monitored by conventional sensors despite its major importance. This deficiency in key data also impacts operational weather forecasting. TICFIRE will provide on a global scale a needed contribution in calibrated radiance assimilation near the IR maximum emission to improve weather forecast. TICFIRE is therefore a science-driven mission with a strong operational component. The TICFIRE payload consists of two instruments; the main one being a Nadir-looking multiband radiometer based on uncooled microbolometer technology and covering a large spectral range from 7.9 μm to 50 μm. The secondary one is an imager that performs Limb measurements and provides cloud vertical structure information. This paper presents the key payload requirements, the conceptual design, and the estimated performance of the TICFIRE payload. Current technology developments in support to the mission are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 October 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8176, Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XV, 81761K (3 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.898577
Show Author Affiliations
Jean-Pierre Blanchet, Univ. du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Alain Royer, Univ. de Sherbrooke (Canada)
François Châteauneuf, INO (Canada)
Yacine Bouzid, Univ. du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Yann Blanchard, Univ. de Sherbrooke (Canada)
Jean-François Hamel, NGC Aerospace Ltd. (Canada)
Jean de Lafontaine, NGC Aerospace Ltd. (Canada)
Pierre Gauthier, Univ. du Québec à Montréal (Canada)
Norman T. O'Neill, Univ. de Sherbrooke (Canada)
Ovidiu Pancrati, INO (Canada)
Louis Garand, Environment Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8176:
Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites XV
Roland Meynart; Steven P. Neeck; Haruhisa Shimoda, Editor(s)

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