Passive microwave radiometry shows considerable promise for high resolution sensing of atmospheric parameters of meteorological significance. Microwave radiometry from satellites over ocean areas is particularly successful due to the low emissivity of sea water, which enables accurate measurements of both atmospheric liquid water and water vapor. Over both land and ocean, temperature measurements of atmospheric layers can be made which are quite insensitive to clouds. Although current microwave techniques yield excellent results, future improvements can be expected due to 1) the narrow beamwidth capabilities of microwave antennas, 2) the almost monochromatic character and high sensitivity of microwave receivers, and 3) the wealth of molecular resonances in the microwave spectrum.
Alan L. Cassel,
David H. Staelin,
"Passive Microwave Radiometric Observations Of The Atmosphere", Proc. SPIE 0091, Methods for Atmospheric Radiometry, (27 December 1976); doi: 10.1117/12.955067; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.955067