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Physically Retrieving Cloud and Thermodynamic Parameters from Ultraspectral IR Measurements

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  • 1 NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  • | 2 Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, and University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
  • | 3 NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
  • | 4 NPOESS Integrated Program Office, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • | 5 University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
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Abstract

A physical inversion scheme has been developed dealing with cloudy as well as cloud-free radiance observed with ultraspectral infrared sounders to simultaneously retrieve surface, atmospheric thermodynamic, and cloud microphysical parameters. A fast radiative transfer model, which applies to the clouded atmosphere, is used for atmospheric profile and cloud parameter retrieval. A one-dimensional (1D) variational multivariable inversion solution is used to improve an iterative background state defined by an eigenvector-regression retrieval. The solution is iterated in order to account for nonlinearity in the 1D variational solution. It is shown that relatively accurate temperature and moisture retrievals can be achieved below optically thin clouds. For optically thick clouds, accurate temperature and moisture profiles down to cloud-top level are obtained. For both optically thin and thick cloud situations, the cloud-top height can be retrieved with relatively high accuracy (i.e., error <1 km). National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Airborne Sounder Testbed Interferometer (NAST-I) retrievals from the The Observing-System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Atlantic Regional Campaign are compared with coincident observations obtained from dropsondes and the nadir-pointing cloud physics lidar (CPL). This work was motivated by the need to obtain solutions for atmospheric soundings from infrared radiances observed for every individual field of view, regardless of cloud cover, from future ultraspectral geostationary satellite sounding instruments, such as the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS). However, this retrieval approach can also be applied to the ultraspectral sounding instruments to fly on polar satellites, such as the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on the European MetOp satellite, the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) on the NPOESS Preparatory Project, and the follow-on NPOESS series of satellites.

Corresponding author address: Daniel K. Zhou, Mail Stop 401A, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681. Email: daniel.k.zhou@nasa.gov

Abstract

A physical inversion scheme has been developed dealing with cloudy as well as cloud-free radiance observed with ultraspectral infrared sounders to simultaneously retrieve surface, atmospheric thermodynamic, and cloud microphysical parameters. A fast radiative transfer model, which applies to the clouded atmosphere, is used for atmospheric profile and cloud parameter retrieval. A one-dimensional (1D) variational multivariable inversion solution is used to improve an iterative background state defined by an eigenvector-regression retrieval. The solution is iterated in order to account for nonlinearity in the 1D variational solution. It is shown that relatively accurate temperature and moisture retrievals can be achieved below optically thin clouds. For optically thick clouds, accurate temperature and moisture profiles down to cloud-top level are obtained. For both optically thin and thick cloud situations, the cloud-top height can be retrieved with relatively high accuracy (i.e., error <1 km). National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Airborne Sounder Testbed Interferometer (NAST-I) retrievals from the The Observing-System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) Atlantic Regional Campaign are compared with coincident observations obtained from dropsondes and the nadir-pointing cloud physics lidar (CPL). This work was motivated by the need to obtain solutions for atmospheric soundings from infrared radiances observed for every individual field of view, regardless of cloud cover, from future ultraspectral geostationary satellite sounding instruments, such as the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS). However, this retrieval approach can also be applied to the ultraspectral sounding instruments to fly on polar satellites, such as the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) on the European MetOp satellite, the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) on the NPOESS Preparatory Project, and the follow-on NPOESS series of satellites.

Corresponding author address: Daniel K. Zhou, Mail Stop 401A, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681. Email: daniel.k.zhou@nasa.gov

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