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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation of cloudy data as stable references for climate research using AIRS and IRIS data
Author(s): Hartmut H. Aumann; Yibo Jiang; Denis A. Elliott
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Paper Abstract

We explore the use cloudy data, including Deep Convective Clouds (DCC) in the tropical oceans for the evaluation of the absolute calibration accuracy and stability of infrared radiometers. For the evaluation of cloudy data we use random nadir samples. We illustrate the method with Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) data and data from the Infrared Interferometric Spectrometer (IRIS) in the tropical oceans. AIRS is on the EOS Aqua satellite, which was launched in May 2002 and is expected to continue to produce high quality data until 2015. Two copies of IRIS flew on Nimbus satellites between April 1970 and January 1971. Based on inconsistencies between AIRS and IRIS data, the absolute accuracy of the IRIS data is about 1K, including a significant day/night bias. Part of the observed radiometric bias may have been introduced by quality control, which senses a temperature and spatial uniformity dependent degradation of instrument performance. The observed biases are larger than the 0.5K accuracy claimed in the literature. This absolute calibration uncertainty has to be taken into account in the analysis of changes in the more than 30 year time span between IRIS and AIRS, before they can be attributed to changes in the clouds or the climate. The method described in this paper can be applied retrospectively to any infrared radiometer like HIRS, AVHRR and GOES. It has the capability to exposes instrument artifacts, which are not apparent from the routine quality control of the data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8153, Earth Observing Systems XVI, 815304 (13 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.892797
Show Author Affiliations
Hartmut H. Aumann, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Yibo Jiang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Denis A. Elliott, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8153:
Earth Observing Systems XVI
James J. Butler; Xiaoxiong Xiong; Xingfa Gu, Editor(s)

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