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11 April 2008Apparent temperature dependence on localized atmospheric water vapor
The atmosphere is a critical factor in remote sensing. Radiance from a target must pass through the air column
to reach the sensor. The atmosphere alters the radiance reaching the sensor by attenuating the radiance from
the target via scattering and absorption and by introducing an upwelling radiance. In the thermal infrared,
these effects will introduce errors in the derived apparent temperature of the target if not properly accounted
for. The temperature error is defined as the difference between the target leaving apparent temperature and
observed apparent temperature. The effects of the atmosphere must be understood in order to develop methods
to compensate for this error. Different atmospheric components will affect the radiation passing through it in
different ways. Certain components may be more important than others depending on the remote sensing application.
The authors are interested in determining the actual temperature of the superstructure that composes
a mechanical draft cooling tower (MDCT), hence water vapor is the primary constituent of concern. The tower
generates a localized water vapor plume located between the target and sensor. The MODTRAN radiative
transfer code is used to model the effects of a localized exhaust plume from a MDCT in the longwave infrared.
The air temperature and dew point depression of the plume and the thickness of the plume are varied to observe
the effect on the apparent temperature error. In addition, the general atmospheric conditions are varied between
two standard MODTRAN atmospheres to study any effect that ambient conditions have on the apparent temperature
error. The Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) modeling tool is used to
simulate the radiance reaching a thermal sensor from a target after passing through the water vapor plume. The
DIRSIG results are validated against the MODTRAN results. This study shows that temperature errors of as
much as one Kelvin can be attributed to the presence of a localized water vapor plume.
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Matthew Montanaro, Carl Salvaggio, Scott D. Brown, David W. Messinger, Alfred J. Garrett, "Apparent temperature dependence on localized atmospheric water vapor," Proc. SPIE 6966, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XIV, 696618 (11 April 2008); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.774694