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Understanding inter-satellite biases of microwave humidity sounders using global simultaneous nadir overpasses

John, V. O., Holl, G., Buehler, S. A., Candy, B., Saunders, R. W. and Parker, D. E. (2012) Understanding inter-satellite biases of microwave humidity sounders using global simultaneous nadir overpasses. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 (D2). D023051. ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2011JD016349


Simultaneous nadir overpasses (SNOs) of polar-orbiting satellites are most frequent in polar areas but can occur at any latitude when the equatorial crossing times of the satellites become close owing to orbital drift. We use global SNOs of polar orbiting satellites to evaluate the intercalibration of microwave humidity sounders from the more frequent high-latitude SNOs. We have found based on sensitivity analyses that optimal distance and time thresholds for defining collocations are pixel centers less than 5 km apart and time differences less than 300 s. These stringent collocation criteria reduce the impact of highly variable surface or atmospheric conditions on the estimated biases. Uncertainties in the estimated biases are dominated by the combined radiometric noise of the instrument pair. The effects of frequency changes between different versions of the humidity sounders depend on the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. There are significant scene radiance and thus latitude dependencies in the estimated biases and this has to taken into account while intercalibrating microwave humidity sounders. Therefore the results obtained using polar SNOs will not be representative for moist regions, necessitating the use of global collocations for reliable intercalibration.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:49058
Uncontrolled Keywords:calibration, amsu, bias
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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