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S. A. Ackerman, A. S. Bachmeier, K. Strabala, and M. Gunshor

Abstract

A cold, dry arctic air mass occupied southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States on 13–14 January 2004. This air mass was quite dry—total column precipitable water values at Pickle Lake, Ontario, Canada, and The Pas, Manitoba, Canada, were as low as 0.02 in. (0.5 mm)—allowing significant amounts of radiation originating from the surface to be detected using Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) 6.5-μm “water vapor channel” imagery. On this day the strong thermal gradient between the very cold snow-covered land surface in southern Canada and the warmer, unfrozen, cloud-free water along the northern portion of the Great Lakes was quite evident in GOES-12 imager water vapor channel data. Several hours later, as the cold dry air mass moved eastward, the coast of Maine, Cape Cod, and the Saint Lawrence River were also apparent in the water vapor channel imagery.

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Mathew M. Gunshor, Timothy J. Schmit, and W. Paul Menzel

Abstract

The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) has been intercalibrating radiometers on five geostationary satellites (GOES-8, -10, Meteosat-5, -7, and GMS-5) using a single polar-orbiting or low-earth orbiting satellite [NOAA-14 High-Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)] as a reference on a routine basis using temporally and spatially collocated measurements. This is being done for the 11-μm infrared window (IRW) channels as well as the 6.7-μm water vapor (WV) channels. IRW results between AVHRR or HIRS and all five geostationary instruments show relatively small differences, with all geostationary instruments vicariously comparing to within 0.6 K. The WV results between HIRS and all five geostationary instruments show larger differences, with geostationary instruments separating into two groups: GOES-8, -10, and GMS-5 comparing within 1 K; Meteosat-5 and -7 comparing within 0.1 K; and the two groups comparing within 2.7 K.

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Mathew M. Gunshor, Timothy J. Schmit, W. Paul Menzel, and David C. Tobin

Abstract

Geostationary simultaneous nadir observations (GSNOs) are collected for Earth Observing System (EOS) Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on board Aqua and a global array of geostationary imagers. The imagers compared in this study are on (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) GOES-10, GOES-11, GOES-12, (Meteorological Satellites) Meteosat-8, Meteosat-9, Multifunctional Transport Satellite-IR (MTSAT-IR), and Fenguyun-2C (FY-2C). It has been shown that a single polar-orbiting satellite can be used to intercalibrate any number of geostationary imagers. Using a high-spectral-resolution infrared sensor, in this case AIRS, brings this method closer to an absolute reckoning of imager calibration accuracy based on laboratory measurements of the instrument’s spectral response. An intercalibration method is presented here, including a method of compensating for AIRS’ spectral gaps, along with results for approximately 22 months of comparisons. The method appears to work very well for most bands, but there are still unresolved issues with bands that are not spectrally covered well by AIRS (such as the water vapor bands and the 8.7-μm band on Meteosat). To the first approximation, most of the bands on the world’s geostationary imagers are reasonably well calibrated—that is, they compare to within 1 K of a standard reference (AIRS). The next step in the evolution of geostationary intercalibration is to use Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) data. IASI is a high-spectral-resolution instrument similar to AIRS but without significant spectral gaps.

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Timothy J. Schmit, Paul Griffith, Mathew M. Gunshor, Jaime M. Daniels, Steven J. Goodman, and William J. Lebair

Abstract

The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on board the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) is America’s next-generation geostationary advanced imager. GOES-R launched on 19 November 2016. The ABI is a state-of-the-art 16-band radiometer, with spectral bands covering the visible, near-infrared, and infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Many attributes of the ABI—such as spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution; radiometrics; and image navigation/registration—are much improved from the current series of GOES imagers. This paper highlights and discusses the expected improvements of each of these attributes. From ABI data many higher-level-derived products can be generated and used in a large number of environmental applications. The ABI’s design allows rapid-scan and contiguous U.S. imaging automatically interleaved with full-disk scanning. In this paper the expected instrument attributes are covered, as they relate to signal-to-noise ratio, image navigation and registration, the various ABI scan modes, and other parameters. There will be several methods for users to acquire GOES-R imagery and products depending on their needs. These include direct reception of the imagery via the satellite downlink and an online-accessible archive. The information from the ABI on the GOES-R series will be used for many applications related to severe weather, tropical cyclones and hurricanes, aviation, natural hazards, the atmosphere, the ocean, and the cryosphere.

The ABI on the GOES-R series is America’s next-generation geostationary advanced imager and will dramatically improve the monitoring of many phenomena at finer time and space scales.

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Timothy J. Schmit, Mathew M. Gunshor, W. Paul Menzel, James J. Gurka, Jun Li, and A. Scott Bachmeier

The Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), designated to be one of the instruments on a future Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series, will introduce a new era for U.S. geostationary environmental remote sensing. ABI is slated to be launched on GOES-R in 2012 and will be used for a wide range of weather, oceanographic, climate, and environmental applications. ABI will have more spectral bands (16), faster imaging (enabling more geographical areas to be scanned), and higher spatial resolution (2 km in the infrared and 1–0.5 km in the visible) than the current GOES Imager. The purposes of the selected spectral bands are summarized in this paper. There will also be improved performance with regard to radiometrics and image navigation/registration. ABI will improve all current GOES Imager products and introduce a host of new products. New capabilities will include detecting upper-level SO2 plumes, monitoring plant health on a diurnal time scale, inferring cloud-top phase and particle size and other microphysical properties, and quantifying air quality with improved aerosol and smoke detection. ABI will be operating in concert with the GOES-R high spectral resolution sounder, part of the Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES); several products will be improved through the combination of high spatial resolution imager data with collocated high spectral resolution measurements. This paper introduces the proposed ABI spectral bands, discusses the rationale for their selection, and presents simulated ABI examples gleaned from current airborne and satellite instrument data.

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Steven D. Miller, Timothy L. Schmit, Curtis J. Seaman, Daniel T. Lindsey, Mathew M. Gunshor, Richard A. Kohrs, Yasuhiko Sumida, and Donald Hillger

Abstract

In 1967, at the dawn of the satellite era, the Applications Technology Satellite 3 (ATS-3) provided the first full-disk “true color” images of Earth. With its depiction of blue oceans, golden deserts, and green forestlands beneath white clouds, the imagery captured the iconic Blue Marble in a way that resonates strongly with human perception. After ATS-3, the standard fare of geostationary satellites entailed a single visible band with additional infrared spectral channels. While single-band visible satisfied the basic user requirements of daytime imagery, the loss of true-color capability and its inherent capability to distinguish myriad atmospheric and surface features via coloration left a notable void. Nearly half a century later, with the launch of Japan’s Himawari-8 in October 2014, there is once again a geostationary sensor—the Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI)—containing the multispectral visible bands required notionally for true color. However, it soon became apparent that AHI’s “green” band, centered at 0.51 μm, was not aligned with the chlorophyll reflectance signature near 0.55 μm. As a result, vegetation appears browner and deserts appear redder than legacy true-color imagery. Here, we describe a technique that attempts to mitigate these issues by blending information from a ref lective-infrared band at 0.86 μm to form a “hybrid” green band. When combining this method with Rayleigh corrections, AHI’s true-color performance is found to be consistent with that of the optimal 0.55-μm band, offering a stopgap solution adaptable to future satellites of similar design.

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Timothy J. Schmit, Steven J. Goodman, Mathew M. Gunshor, Justin Sieglaff, Andrew K. Heidinger, A. Scott Bachmeier, Scott S. Lindstrom, Amanda Terborg, Joleen Feltz, Kaba Bah, Scott Rudlosky, Daniel T. Lindsey, Robert M. Rabin, and Christopher C. Schmidt

Abstract

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-14 (GOES-14) imager was operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an experimental rapid scan 1-min mode during parts of the summers of 2012 and 2013. This scan mode, known as the super rapid scan operations for GOES-R (SRSOR), emulates the high-temporal-resolution sampling of the mesoscale region scanning of the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) on the next-generation GOES-R series. This paper both introduces these unique datasets and highlights future satellite imager capabilities. Many phenomena were observed from GOES-14, including fog, clouds, severe storms, fires and smoke (including the California Rim Fire), and several tropical cyclones. In 2012 over 6 days of SRSOR data of Hurricane Sandy were acquired. In 2013, the first two days of SRSOR in June observed the propagation and evolution of a mid-Atlantic derecho. The data from August 2013 were unique in that the GOES imager operated in nearly continuous 1-min mode; prior to this time, the 1-min data were interrupted every 3 h for full disk scans. Used in a number of NOAA test beds and operational centers, including NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC), the Aviation Weather Center (AWC), the Ocean Prediction Center (OPC), and the National Hurricane Center (NHC), these experimental data prepare users for the next-generation imager, which will be able to routinely acquire mesoscale (1,000 km × 1,000 km) images every 30 s (or two separate locations every minute). Several animations are included, showcasing the rapid change of the many phenomena observed during SRSOR from the GOES-14 imager.

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