Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Water Vapor and Liquid Water with the Nimbus 5 Microwave Spectrometer

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  • a Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139
  • | b Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91103
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Abstract

The passive microwave spectrometer on the Nimbus 5 satellite has two channels that measure atmospheric water vapor and liquid water abundances over ocean. Observed water vapor abundances range up to 6 g cm−2 and differ from nearby radiosondes by ∼0.4 g cm−2. Average liquid water abundances over a 300 km observation zone range from −0.01 to 0.2 g cm−2, and have an rms error estimated to be ∼0.01 g cm−2 for most circumstances. These quantitative measurements can be used to construct global maps or to accumulate global statistics.

Abstract

The passive microwave spectrometer on the Nimbus 5 satellite has two channels that measure atmospheric water vapor and liquid water abundances over ocean. Observed water vapor abundances range up to 6 g cm−2 and differ from nearby radiosondes by ∼0.4 g cm−2. Average liquid water abundances over a 300 km observation zone range from −0.01 to 0.2 g cm−2, and have an rms error estimated to be ∼0.01 g cm−2 for most circumstances. These quantitative measurements can be used to construct global maps or to accumulate global statistics.

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