Observing System Simulation Experiments Investigating Atmospheric Motion Vectors and Radiances from a Constellation of 4-5 μm Infrared Sounders

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  • 1 Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
  • 2 Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Maryland
  • 3 Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland
  • 4 Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland
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Abstract

A set of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) was performed to investigate the utility of a constellation of passive infrared spectrometers, strategically designed with the aim of deriving the three-dimensional retrievals of the horizontal wind via atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from instruments with the spectral resolution of an infrared sounder. The instrument and constellation designs were performed in the context of the Midwave Infrared Sounding of Temperature and humidity in a Constellation for Winds, or MISTiC Winds. The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office OSSE system, which includes a full suite of operational meteorological observations, served as the control. To illustrate the potential impact of this observing strategy, two experiments were performed by adding the new simulated observations to the control. First, perfect (error-free) simulated AMVs and radiances were assimilated. Second, the data were made imperfect by adding realistic modeled errors to the AMVs and radiances that were assimilated.

The experimentation showed beneficial impacts on both the mass and wind fields, as based on analysis verification, forecast verification, and the assessment of the observations using the Forecast Sensitivity to Observation Impact (FSOI) metric. In all variables and metrics, the impacts of the imperfect observations were smaller than those of the perfect observations, though much of the positive benefit was retained. The FSOI metric illustrated two key points. First, the largest impacts were seen in the middle troposphere AMVs, which is a targeted capability of the constellation strategy. Second, the addition of modeled errors showed that the assimilation system was unable to fully exploit the 4.3 μm carbon dioxide absorption radiances.

Current Affiliation: Aveiro University, Aveiro, Portugal.

Corresponding Author: Will McCarty, will.mccarty@nasa.gov

Abstract

A set of Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) was performed to investigate the utility of a constellation of passive infrared spectrometers, strategically designed with the aim of deriving the three-dimensional retrievals of the horizontal wind via atmospheric motion vectors (AMVs) from instruments with the spectral resolution of an infrared sounder. The instrument and constellation designs were performed in the context of the Midwave Infrared Sounding of Temperature and humidity in a Constellation for Winds, or MISTiC Winds. The Global Modeling and Assimilation Office OSSE system, which includes a full suite of operational meteorological observations, served as the control. To illustrate the potential impact of this observing strategy, two experiments were performed by adding the new simulated observations to the control. First, perfect (error-free) simulated AMVs and radiances were assimilated. Second, the data were made imperfect by adding realistic modeled errors to the AMVs and radiances that were assimilated.

The experimentation showed beneficial impacts on both the mass and wind fields, as based on analysis verification, forecast verification, and the assessment of the observations using the Forecast Sensitivity to Observation Impact (FSOI) metric. In all variables and metrics, the impacts of the imperfect observations were smaller than those of the perfect observations, though much of the positive benefit was retained. The FSOI metric illustrated two key points. First, the largest impacts were seen in the middle troposphere AMVs, which is a targeted capability of the constellation strategy. Second, the addition of modeled errors showed that the assimilation system was unable to fully exploit the 4.3 μm carbon dioxide absorption radiances.

Current Affiliation: Aveiro University, Aveiro, Portugal.

Corresponding Author: Will McCarty, will.mccarty@nasa.gov
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