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Synergetic use of satellite instruments: Combining information from MODIS and AIRS for cirrus characterization by using accurate pre-launch calibration

Mathias Schreier(1), Brian H. Kahn(2), Annmarie Eldering(2), Denis A. Elliott(2), Frederick W. Irion(2) and Thomas S. Pagano(2)

(1) NASA-JPL/UCLA, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States
(2) NASA-JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States


The reflected and emitted radiation from Earth and its atmosphere provides a large variety of different possibilities for remote sensing. Over the last decades, several atmospheric sounding instruments on different orbiting platforms gathered information of the atmosphere in different ways and provide therefore unique datasets. But most of these instruments have also shortcomings, because usually high spatial resolution goes hand in hand with low spectral resolution and vice- versa. But usually, several different instruments are flying on a satellite platform and thereby measure the same atmospheric profile in similar time ranges, giving the unique opportunity to test possible combinations of instruments. The instruments MODIS (MODerate resolution Instrument Sounder) and AIRS (Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder) on the satellite platform Aqua are a typical example, because MODIS has a high spatial resolution and several broad-band-channels in the visible, near- and mid-infrared spectral range. On the other hand, AIRS has a high spectral resolution within the mid-infrared, but the spatial resolution is an order of magnitude more coarse than MODIS. We show that by using accurate geo-location and measured pre-launch characteristics, an increase of the information content by a synergetic use of both datasets is possible, which increases the possibility to identify atmospheric features. We present initial results of this instrument-synergy with respect to radiative information content and the possible use for examination of cirrus clouds. We also show that the accurate measurement of pre-launch characteristics and their reprocessing is an important factor in the synergetic use of instruments and helps to strongly reduce the uncertainty in these results.


Workshop presentation