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Trade-Offs in the Design of Satellite Sounding Instruments

Larry M. McMillinNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, Washington, DC 20233

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Henry E. FlemingNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, Washington, DC 20233

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Abstract

In the design of satellite sounding instruments there are many factors that determine the accuracies of the retrieved temperature and moisture profiles. However, the three major factors are: instrument noise, number of channels and weighting function half-widths. The effect of these three factors on retrieved temperatures are examined through simulation studies to determine trade-offs among them. We conclude that the trade-offs among the three factors suggest that year different instrument designs can yield similar accuracies. Consequently, the instrument design that provides optimum performance can be recognized only after a trade-off analysis is made. If the design with the best performance is to be selected, it is particularly important that the designs be given equal benefit of factors which are not intrinsic design differences.

Abstract

In the design of satellite sounding instruments there are many factors that determine the accuracies of the retrieved temperature and moisture profiles. However, the three major factors are: instrument noise, number of channels and weighting function half-widths. The effect of these three factors on retrieved temperatures are examined through simulation studies to determine trade-offs among them. We conclude that the trade-offs among the three factors suggest that year different instrument designs can yield similar accuracies. Consequently, the instrument design that provides optimum performance can be recognized only after a trade-off analysis is made. If the design with the best performance is to be selected, it is particularly important that the designs be given equal benefit of factors which are not intrinsic design differences.

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