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1 September 2009 Improved determination of surface and atmospheric temperatures using only shortwave AIRS channels
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AIRS was launched on EOS Aqua on May 4, 2002, together with AMSU-A and HSB, to form a next generation polar orbiting infrared and microwave atmospheric sounding system. AIRS is a grating spectrometer with a number of linear arrays of detectors with each detector sensitive to outgoing radiation in a characteristic frequency υi with a spectral band pass Δυi of roughly υi/1200 AIRS contains 2378 spectral channels covering portions of the spectral region 650 cm-1 (15.38 μm) - 2665 cm-1 (3.752 μm). These spectral regions contain significant absorption features from two CO2 absorption bands, the 15 μm (longwave) CO2 band, and the 4.3 μm (shortwave) CO2 absorption band. There are also two atmospheric window regions, the 12 μm - 8 μm (longwave) window, and the 4.17 μm - 3.75 μm (shortwave) window. Historically, determination of surface and atmospheric temperatures from satellite observations was performed using primarily observations in the longwave window and CO2 absorption regions. One reason for this was concerns about the effects, during the day, of reflected sunlight and non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (non-LTE) on the observed radiances in the shortwave portion of the spectrum. According to cloud clearing theory, more accurate soundings of both surface skin and atmospheric temperatures can be obtained under partial cloud cover conditions if one uses the longwave channels to determine cloud cleared radiances Ri for all channels, and uses Ri only from shortwave channels in the determination of surface and atmospheric temperatures. This procedure is now being used by the AIRS Science Team in preparation for the AIRS Version 6 Retrieval Algorithm. This paper describes how the effects on the radiances of solar radiation reflected by clouds and the Earth's surface, and also of non-LTE, are accounted for in the analysis of the data. Results are presented for both daytime and nighttime conditions showing improved surface and atmospheric soundings under partial cloud cover resulted from not using Ri in the retrieval process for any longwave channels sensitive to cloud effects. This improvement is made possible because AIRS NEDT in the shortwave portion of the spectrum is extremely low.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joel Susskind, John Blaisdell, and Lena Iredell "Improved determination of surface and atmospheric temperatures using only shortwave AIRS channels", Proc. SPIE 7453, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XVII, 74530F (1 September 2009);

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