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Kory J. Priestley
,
G. Louis Smith
,
Susan Thomas
,
Denise Cooper
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
Dale Walikainen
,
Phillip Hess
,
Z. Peter Szewczyk
, and
Robert Wilson

Abstract

The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) flight models 1 through 4 instruments were launched aboard NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua spacecraft into 705-km sun-synchronous orbits with 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. local time equatorial crossing times. With these instruments CERES provides state-of-the-art observations and products related to the earth’s radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). The archived CERES science data products consist of geolocated and calibrated instantaneous filtered and unfiltered radiances through temporally and spatially averaged TOA, surface, and atmospheric fluxes. CERES-filtered radiance measurements cover three spectral bands: shortwave (0.3–5 μm), total (0.3>100 μm), and an atmospheric window channel (8–12 μm).

CERES climate data products realize a factor of 2–4 improvement in calibration accuracy and stability over the previotus Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) products. To achieve this improvement there are three editions of data products. Edition 1 generates data products using gain coefficients derived from ground calibrations. After a minimum of four months, the calibration data are examined to remove drifts in the calibration. The data are then reprocessed to produce the edition 2 data products. These products are available for science investigations for which an accuracy of 2% is sufficient. Also, a validation protocol is applied to these products to find problems and develop solutions, after which edition 3 data products will be computed, for which the objectives are calibration stability of better than 0.2% and calibration traceability from ground to flight of 0.25%. This paper reports the status of the radiometric accuracy and stability of the CERES edition 2 instrument data products through April 2007.

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G. Louis Smith
,
D. K. Pandey
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
Bruce R. Barkstrom
, and
Kory J. Priestley

Abstract

The Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanning radiometer was designed to provide high accuracy measurements of the radiances from the earth. Calibration testing of the instruments showed the presence of an undesired slow transient in the measurements of all channels at 1% to 2% of the signal. Analysis of the data showed that the transient consists of a single linear mode. The characteristic time of this mode is 0.3 to 0.4 s and is much greater than that the 8–10-ms response time of the detector, so that it is well separated from the detector response. A numerical filter was designed for the removal of this transient from the measurements. Results show no trace remaining of the transient after application of the numerical filter. The characterization of the slow mode on the basis of ground calibration data is discussed and flight results are shown for the CERES instruments aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission and Terra spacecraft. The primary influence of the slow mode is in the calibration of the instrument and the in-flight validation of the calibration. This method may be applicable to other radiometers that are striving for high accuracy and encounter a slow spurious mode, regardless of the underlying physics.

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Bruce A. Wielicki
,
Bruce R. Barkstrom
,
Edwin F. Harrison
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
G. Louis Smith
, and
John E. Cooper

Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is an investigation to examine the role of cloud/radiation feedback in the Earth's climate system. The CERES broadband scanning radiometers are an improved version of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) radiometers. The CERES instruments will fly on several National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites starting in 1998 and extending over at least 15 years. The CERES science investigations will provide data to extend the ERBE climate record of top-of-atmosphere shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiative fluxes. CERES will also combine simultaneous cloud property data derived using EOS narrowband imagers to provide a consistent set of cloud/radiation data, including SW and LW radiative fluxes at the surface and at several selected levels within the atmosphere. CERES data are expected to provide top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes with a factor of 2 to 3 less error than the ERBE data. Estimates of radiative fluxes at the surface and especially within the atmosphere will be a much greater challenge but should also show significant improvements over current capabilities.

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Takmeng Wong
,
Bruce A. Wielicki
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
G. Louis Smith
,
Kathryn A. Bush
, and
Joshua K. Willis

Abstract

This paper gives an update on the observed decadal variability of the earth radiation budget (ERB) using the latest altitude-corrected Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE)/Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) Nonscanner Wide Field of View (WFOV) instrument Edition3 dataset. The effects of the altitude correction are to modify the original reported decadal changes in tropical mean (20°N to 20°S) longwave (LW), shortwave (SW), and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s from 3.1, −2.4, and −0.7 to 1.6, −3.0, and 1.4 W m−2, respectively. In addition, a small SW instrument drift over the 15-yr period was discovered during the validation of the WFOV Edition3 dataset. A correction was developed and applied to the Edition3 dataset at the data user level to produce the WFOV Edition3_Rev1 dataset. With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, −2.1, and 1.4 W m−2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record. Furthermore, the observed interannual variability of near-global ERBS WFOV Edition3_Rev1 net radiation is found to be remarkably consistent with the latest ocean heat storage record for the overlapping time period of 1993 to 1999. Both datasets show variations of roughly 1.5 W m−2 in planetary net heat balance during the 1990s.

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Kory J. Priestley
,
Bruce R. Barkstrom
,
Robert B. Lee III
,
Richard N. Green
,
Susan Thomas
,
Robert S. Wilson
,
Peter L. Spence
,
Jack Paden
,
D. K. Pandey
, and
Aiman Al-Hajjah

Abstract

Each Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument contains three scanning thermistor bolometer radiometric channels. These channels measure broadband radiances in the shortwave (0.3–5.0 μm), total (0.3–>100 μm), and water vapor window regions (8–12 μm). Ground-based radiometric calibrations of the CERES flight models were conducted by TRW Inc.’s Space and Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, California. On-orbit calibration and vicarious validation studies have demonstrated radiometric stability, defined as long-term repeatability when measuring a constant source, at better than 0.2% for the first 18 months of science data collection. This level exceeds by 2.5 to 5 times the prelaunch radiometric performance goals that were set at the 0.5% level for terrestrial energy flows and 1.0% for solar energy flows by the CERES Science Team. The current effort describes the radiometric performance of the CERES Proto-Flight Model on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission spacecraft over the first 19 months of scientific data collection.

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Robert B. Lee III
,
Bruce R. Barkstrom
,
G. Louis Smith
,
John E. Cooper
,
Leonard P. Kopia
,
R. Wes Lawrence
,
Susan Thomas
,
Dhirendra K. Pandey
, and
Dominique A. H. Crommelynck

Abstract

The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) spacecraft sensors are designed to measure broadband earth-reflected solar shortwave (0.3–5 µm) and earth-emitted longwave (5– > 100 µm) radiances at the top of the atmosphere as part of the Mission to Planet Earth program. The scanning thermistor bolometer sensors respond to radiances in the broadband shortwave (0.3–5 µm) and total-wave (0.3– > 100 µm) spectral regions, as well as to radiances in the narrowband water vapor window (8–12 µm) region. The sensors are designed to operate for a minimum of 5 years aboard the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and Earth Observing System AM-I spacecraft platforms that are scheduled for launches in 1997 and 1998, respectively. The flight sensors and the in-flight calibration systems will he calibrated in a vacuum ground facility using reference radiance sources, tied to the international temperature scale of 1990. The calibrations will be used to derive sensor gains, offsets, spectral responses, and point spread functions within and outside of the field of view. The shortwave, total-wave, and window ground calibration accuracy requirements (1 sigma) are ±0.8, ±0.6, and ±0.3 W m−2 sr−1, respectively, while the corresponding measurement precisions are ±0.5% and ±1.0% for the broadband longwave and shortwave radiances, respectively. The CERES sensors, in-flight calibration systems, and ground calibration instrumentation are described along with outlines of the preflight and in-flight calibration approaches.

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