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27 August 2010 Analysis of AIRS and IASI system performance under clear and cloudy conditions
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The radiometric and spectral system performance of space-borne infrared radiometers is generally specified and analyzed under strictly cloud-free, spatially uniform and warm conditions, with the assumption that the observed performance applies to the full dynamic range under clear and cloudy conditions and that random noise cancels for the evaluation of the radiometric accuracy. Such clear conditions are found in only one percent of the data. Ninety nine percent of the data include clouds, which produce spatially highly nonuniform scenes with 11μm window brightness temperatures as low as 200K. We use AIRS and IASI radiance spectra to compare system performance under clear and a wide range of cloudy conditions. Although the two instruments are in polar orbits, with the ascending nodes separated by four hours, daily averages already reveal surprisingly similar measurements. The AIRS and IASI radiometric performance based on the mean of large numbers of observation is comparable and agrees within 200 mK over a wide range of temperatures. There are also some unexpected differences at the 200 -500 mK level, which are of significance for climate applications. The results were verified with data from July 2007 through January 2010, but many can already be gleaned from the analysis of a single day of data.
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Hartmut H. Aumann and Larrabee L. Strow "Analysis of AIRS and IASI system performance under clear and cloudy conditions", Proc. SPIE 7807, Earth Observing Systems XV, 78070K (27 August 2010);

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