The Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) is a 20-channel microwave satellite remote-sensing system comprising two separate radiometers, which is slated to be launched on NOAA polar-orbiting satellites beginning in 1994. With the AMSU will come improvements in remote sounding of the atmosphere and estimation of atmospheric and surface physical characteristics (rain and cloud water, snow and ice cover, etc.) gained through application of the dramatic improvements in microwave technology that have taken place in the past 20 years. In this work we describe prelaunch work designed to evaluate the remote-sensing information that will be available with the launch of the AMSU.

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*Current affiliation: Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado/NOAA, Boulder, Colorado.