Following an overview of the scientific objectives and organization of the French–Russian–German Scanner for Radiation Budget (ScaRaB) project, brief descriptions of the instrument, its ground calibration, and in-flight operating and calibration procedures are given. During the year (24 February 1994–6 March 1995) of ScaRaB Flight Model 1 operation on board Meteor-317, radiometer performance was generally good and well understood. Accuracy of the radiances is estimated to be better than 1% in the longwave and 2% in the shortwave domains. Data processing procedures are described and shown to be compatible with those used for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) scanner data, even though time sampling properties of the Meteor-3 orbit differ considerably from the ERBE system orbits. The resulting monthly mean earth radiation budget distributions exhibit no global bias when compared to ERBE results, but they do reveal interesting strong regional differences. The “ERBE-like” scientific data products are now available to the general scientific research community. Prospects for combining data from ScaRaB Flight Model 2 (to fly on board Ressurs-1 beginning in spring 1998) with data from the NASA Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument on board the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) are briefly discussed.
*Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Palaiseau, France.
+Scientific Research Center for Exploration of Natural Resources Dolgoprudny, Russia.
#Research Institute for Hydrometeorological Information, Obninsk, Russia.
@Institute for Atmospheric Physics, GKSS Research Center, Geesthacht, Germany.
&Current affiliation: Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.