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D. D. Turner, B. M. Lesht, S. A. Clough, J. C. Liljegren, H. E. Revercomb, and D. C. Tobin

Abstract

Thousands of comparisons between total precipitable water vapor (PWV) obtained from radiosonde (Vaisala RS80-H) profiles and PWV retrieved from a collocated microwave radiometer (MWR) were made at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program's Southern Great Plains Cloud and Radiation Testbed (SGP CART) site in northern Oklahoma from 1994 to 2000. These comparisons show that the RS80-H radiosonde has an approximate 5% dry bias compared to the MWR. This observation is consistent with interpretations of Vaisala RS80 radiosonde data obtained during the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). In addition to the dry bias, analysis of the PWV comparisons as well as of data obtained from dual-sonde soundings done at the SGP show that the calibration of the radiosonde humidity measurements varies considerably both when the radiosondes come from different calibration batches and when the radiosondes come from the same calibration batch. This variability can result in peak-to-peak differences between radiosondes of greater than 25% in PWV. Because accurate representation of the vertical profile of water vapor is critical for ARM's science objectives, an empirical method for correcting the radiosonde humidity profiles is developed based on a constant scaling factor. By using an independent set of observations and radiative transfer models to test the correction, it is shown that the constant humidity scaling method appears both to improve the accuracy and reduce the uncertainty of the radiosonde data. The ARM data are also used to examine a different, physically based, correction scheme that was developed recently by scientists from Vaisala and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This scheme, which addresses the dry bias problem as well as other calibration-related problems with the RS80-H sensor, results in excellent agreement between the PWV retrieved from the MWR and integrated from the corrected radiosonde. However, because the physically based correction scheme does not address the apparently random calibration variations observed, it does not reduce the variability either between radiosonde calibration batches or within individual calibration batches.

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R. A. Ferrare, E. V. Browell, S. Ismail, S. A. Kooi, L. H. Brasseur, V. G. Brackett, M. B. Clayton, J. D. W. Barrick, G. S. Diskin, J. E. M. Goldsmith, B. M. Lesht, J. R. Podolske, G. W. Sachse, F. J. Schmidlin, D. D. Turner, D. N. Whiteman, D. Tobin, L. M. Miloshevich, H. E. Revercomb, B. B. Demoz, and P. Di Girolamo

Abstract

Water vapor mass mixing ratio profiles from NASA's Lidar Atmospheric Sensing Experiment (LASE) system acquired during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM)–First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE) Water Vapor Experiment (AFWEX) are used as a reference to characterize upper-troposphere water vapor (UTWV) measured by ground-based Raman lidars, radiosondes, and in situ aircraft sensors over the Department of Energy (DOE) ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in northern Oklahoma. LASE was deployed from the NASA DC-8 aircraft and measured water vapor over the ARM SGP Central Facility (CF) site during seven flights between 27 November and 10 December 2000. Initially, the DOE ARM SGP Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) Raman lidar (CARL) UTWV profiles were about 5%–7% wetter than LASE in the upper troposphere, and the Vaisala RS80-H radiosonde profiles were about 10% drier than LASE between 8 and 12 km. Scaling the Vaisala water vapor profiles to match the precipitable water vapor (PWV) measured by the ARM SGP microwave radiometer (MWR) did not change these results significantly. By accounting for an overlap correction of the CARL water vapor profiles and by employing schemes designed to correct the Vaisala RS80-H calibration method and account for the time response of the Vaisala RS80-H water vapor sensor, the average differences between the CARL and Vaisala radiosonde upper-troposphere water vapor profiles are reduced to about 5%, which is within the ARM goal of mean differences of less than 10%. The LASE and DC-8 in situ diode laser hygrometer (DLH) UTWV measurements generally agreed to within about 3%–4%. The DC-8 in situ frost point cryogenic hygrometer and Snow White chilled-mirror measurements were drier than the LASE, Raman lidars, and corrected Vaisala RS80H measurements by about 10%–25% and 10%–15%, respectively. Sippican (formerly VIZ Manufacturing) carbon hygristor radiosondes exhibited large variabilities and poor agreement with the other measurements. PWV derived from the LASE profiles agreed to within about 3% on average with PWV derived from the ARM SGP microwave radiometer. The agreement between the LASE and MWR PWV and the LASE and CARL UTWV measurements supports the hypotheses that MWR measurements of the 22-GHz water vapor line can accurately constrain the total water vapor amount and that the CART Raman lidar, when calibrated using the MWR PWV, can provide an accurate, stable reference for characterizing upper-troposphere water vapor.

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R. O. Knuteson, H. E. Revercomb, F. A. Best, N. C. Ciganovich, R. G. Dedecker, T. P. Dirkx, S. C. Ellington, W. F. Feltz, R. K. Garcia, H. B. Howell, W. L. Smith, J. F. Short, and D. C. Tobin

Abstract

A ground-based Fourier transform spectrometer has been developed to measure the atmospheric downwelling infrared radiance spectrum at the earth's surface with high absolute accuracy. The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) instrument was designed and fabricated by the University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center (UW-SSEC) for the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. This paper emphasizes the key features of the UW-SSEC instrument design that contribute to meeting the AERI instrument requirements for the ARM Program. These features include a highly accurate radiometric calibration system, an instrument controller that provides continuous and autonomous operation, an extensive data acquisition system for monitoring calibration temperatures and instrument health, and a real-time data processing system. In particular, focus is placed on design issues crucial to meeting the ARM requirements for radiometric calibration, spectral calibration, noise performance, and operational reliability. The detailed performance characteristics of the AERI instruments built for the ARM Program are described in a companion paper.

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R. O. Knuteson, H. E. Revercomb, F. A. Best, N. C. Ciganovich, R. G. Dedecker, T. P. Dirkx, S. C. Ellington, W. F. Feltz, R. K. Garcia, H. B. Howell, W. L. Smith, J. F. Short, and D. C. Tobin

Abstract

The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) instrument was developed for the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program by the University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center (UW-SSEC). The infrared emission spectra measured by the instrument have the sensitivity and absolute accuracy needed for atmospheric remote sensing and climate studies. The instrument design is described in a companion paper. This paper describes in detail the measured performance characteristics of the AERI instruments built for the ARM Program. In particular, the AERI systems achieve an absolute radiometric calibration of better than 1% (3σ) of ambient radiance, with a reproducibility of better than 0.2%. The knowledge of the AERI spectral calibration is better than 1.5 ppm (1σ) in the wavenumber range 400– 3000 cm−1.

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