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Infrared Continental Surface Emissivity Spectra Retrieved from AIRS Hyperspectral Sensor

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  • 1 Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
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Abstract

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS; NASA Aqua platform) observations over land are interpreted in terms of monthly mean surface emissivity spectra at a resolution of 0.05 μm and skin temperature. For each AIRS observation, an estimation of the atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles is first obtained through a proximity recognition within the thermodynamic initial guess retrieval (TIGR) climatological library of about 2300 representative clear-sky atmospheric situations. With this a priori information, all terms of the radiative transfer equation are calculated by using the Automatized Atmospheric Absorption Atlas (4A) line-by-line radiative transfer model. Then, surface temperature is evaluated by using a single AIRS channel (centered at 12.183 μm) chosen for its almost constant emissivity with respect to soil type. Emissivity is then calculated for a set of 40 atmospheric windows (transmittance greater than 0.5) distributed over the AIRS spectrum. The overall infrared emissivity spectrum at 0.05-μm resolution is finally derived from a combination of high-spectral-resolution laboratory measurements of various materials carefully selected within the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer/University of California, Santa Barbara (MODIS/UCSB) and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (ASTER/JPL) emissivity libraries. It is shown from simulations that the accuracy of the method developed in this paper, the multispectral method (MSM), varies from about 3% around 4 μm to considerably less than 1% in the 10–12-μm spectral window. Three years of AIRS observations (from April 2003 to March 2006) between 30°S and 30°N have been processed and interpreted in terms of monthly mean surface skin temperature and emissivity spectra from 3.7 to 14.0 μm at a spatial resolution of 1° × 1°. AIRS retrievals are compared with the MODIS (also flying aboard the NASA/Aqua platform) monthly mean L3 products and with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies baseline-fit method (UW/CIMSS BF) global infrared land surface emissivity database.

Corresponding author address: E. Péquignot, Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau CEDEX, France. Email: eric.pequignot@cnes.fr

Abstract

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS; NASA Aqua platform) observations over land are interpreted in terms of monthly mean surface emissivity spectra at a resolution of 0.05 μm and skin temperature. For each AIRS observation, an estimation of the atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles is first obtained through a proximity recognition within the thermodynamic initial guess retrieval (TIGR) climatological library of about 2300 representative clear-sky atmospheric situations. With this a priori information, all terms of the radiative transfer equation are calculated by using the Automatized Atmospheric Absorption Atlas (4A) line-by-line radiative transfer model. Then, surface temperature is evaluated by using a single AIRS channel (centered at 12.183 μm) chosen for its almost constant emissivity with respect to soil type. Emissivity is then calculated for a set of 40 atmospheric windows (transmittance greater than 0.5) distributed over the AIRS spectrum. The overall infrared emissivity spectrum at 0.05-μm resolution is finally derived from a combination of high-spectral-resolution laboratory measurements of various materials carefully selected within the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer/University of California, Santa Barbara (MODIS/UCSB) and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (ASTER/JPL) emissivity libraries. It is shown from simulations that the accuracy of the method developed in this paper, the multispectral method (MSM), varies from about 3% around 4 μm to considerably less than 1% in the 10–12-μm spectral window. Three years of AIRS observations (from April 2003 to March 2006) between 30°S and 30°N have been processed and interpreted in terms of monthly mean surface skin temperature and emissivity spectra from 3.7 to 14.0 μm at a spatial resolution of 1° × 1°. AIRS retrievals are compared with the MODIS (also flying aboard the NASA/Aqua platform) monthly mean L3 products and with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies baseline-fit method (UW/CIMSS BF) global infrared land surface emissivity database.

Corresponding author address: E. Péquignot, Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau CEDEX, France. Email: eric.pequignot@cnes.fr

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