The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Sensors and Preflight Calibration Plans

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  • 1 NASA/Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia
  • | 2 Science Applications International Corporation, Hampton, Virginia
  • | 3 Belgium Royal Meteorological Institute, Brussels, Belgium
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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.

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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