The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is considering a microwave radiometer for the next series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES-R) to be launched starting in 2012. This paper examines the products proposed for the geostationary microwave radiometer in the light of current microwave retrieval algorithms and estimates the performance achievable from geostationary altitude with a three-meter antenna. The results suggest that hemispheric soundings and rain rates can be generated on an hourly basis with the desired accuracy and horizontal resolution, that capping inversions can be detected in conjunction with infrared soundings, that hurricane warm core temperatures can be resolved using high frequencies plus deconvolution and that ocean wind and total precipitable water products can be provided with close to the desired resolution.
The Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) aboard the NOAA series of polar orbiting satellites has been used to monitor the very small trend in the global tropospheric temperature over the 25 year satellite record. To obtain a homogeneous data set, calibration corrections were made to each of the nine MSU's in the form of fixed biases, and in some cases temperature-dependent adjustments, using data during the overlap periods. Up until now, however, the adjustments are empirically based. To improve the accuracy, this paper develops a calibration model that includes errors in the cold space and warm target measurements, as well as the nonlinear factor. Corrections for these calibration errors are estimated using a least squares minimization where the predictors are the differences between all twelve overlapping satellite measurements. After applying the calibration corrections, the globally averaged differences between satellite instruments are no larger than 0.03 K. It is also found that the globally averaged tropospheric temperature trend obtained from MSU channel 2 measurements is 0.17 K/decade, which is nearly the same as the surface trend.