The international experiment called the European Aqua Thermodynamic Experiment (EAQUATE) was held in September 2004 in Italy and the United Kingdom to validate Aqua satellite Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) radiance measurements and derived products with certain groundbased and airborne systems useful for validating hyperspectral satellite sounding observations. A range of flights over land and marine surfaces were conducted to coincide with overpasses of the AIRS instrument on the Earth Observing System Aqua platform. Direct radiance evaluation of AIRS using National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Airborne Sounder Testbed-Interferometer (NAST-I) and the Scanning High-Resolution Infrared Sounder has shown excellent agreement. Comparisons of level-2 retrievals of temperature and water vapor from AIRS and NAST-I validated against high-quality lidar and dropsonde data show that the 1-K/l-km and 10%/1-km requirements for temperature and water vapor (respectively) are generally being met. The EAQUATE campaign has proven the need for synergistic measurements from a range of observing systems for satellite calibration/validation and has paved the way for future calibration/validation activities in support of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer on the European Meteorological Operational platform and Cross-Track Infrared Sounder on the U.S. NPOESS Prepatory Project platform.

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Met Office, Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom

Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, and University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale, CNR, Tito Scalo, Italy

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Dipartimento di Ingegneria e Fisica dell'Ambiente, University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy

Physics Department, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Mediterranean Agency for Remote Sensing, Benevento, Italy

NPOESS Integrated Program Office, Silver Spring, Maryland

Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze fisiche della Materia, University of Naples, Napoli, Italy