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Using (A)ATSR as a radiance calibration reference for NOAA satellites

Jonathan Mittaz(1) and Andrew Harris(1)

(1) University of Maryland, 2207 Computer and Space Sciences Building # 224, MD 20742 College Park, United States


(A)ATSR sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are already being used on a regular basis as a reference source against which to bias-correct SST observations from other satellites. In this paper, we take a different approach and explore the use of the (A)ATSR thermal infrared radiances themselves as a reference against which to compare radiance data from NOAA operational satellites. The known high accuracy of (A)ATSR radiances makes them a good reference source, while the dual-view enables the requirement for a common view angle to be circumvented, allowing many more matchups to be made under a much wider range of conditions than is obtained with other cross-satellite comparisons. Comparing NOAA radiances with (A)ATSR radiances will then serve to both validate new calibration methodologies, such as our new calibration of the AVHRR which is demonstrably better when compared to the pre-launch test data but needs to be tested in-orbit, as well as help understand calibration uncertainties in general. The need for improvement in the accuracy of the radiances from the NOAA sensors has already been amply demonstrated by (A)ATSR's excellent results for SST retrieval obtained using radiative transfer (RT) methods. Since such methods are primarily contingent upon the careful pre-launch instrument characterization and accurate on-board calibration, the use of RT methods for other sensors means that their calibration will have to be improved. The usefulness of the (A)ATSR in improving the accuracy of the NOAA IR sensors at the fundamental radiance level will then be discussed.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry