The Effect of Data Analysis Techniques on the Interpretation of Wide-Angle Longwave Radiation Measurements

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  • 1 NASA-Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23665
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Abstract

Three different data analysis techniques—shape factor, parameter estimation, and deconvolution—have been applied to the same set of satellite radiation measurements to determine their effect on the estimated radiation field. The measurements are from a wide-angle, horizon-to-horizon, nadir-pointing sensor. The shape factor technique reduces each measurement to a radiant exitance at the top of the atmosphere by simple division by a constant. The parameter estimation technique processes all measurements together as a batch and defines the radiant exitance as a least-squares fit to the data. The deconvolution technique takes advantage of the fact that spherical harmonies are the eigenfunctions of the measurement operator. All three techniques are derived, and their assumptions, advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Their results are compared globally, zonally, regionally and on a spatial spectrum basis. All three techniques give comparable results for global parameters. However, results on a regional scale were quite different. The standard deviations of the regional differences in radiant exitance varied from 7.4 to 13.5 W m−2. Of the three techniques, the parameter estimation technique produced the best regional results and is the choice of the author.

Abstract

Three different data analysis techniques—shape factor, parameter estimation, and deconvolution—have been applied to the same set of satellite radiation measurements to determine their effect on the estimated radiation field. The measurements are from a wide-angle, horizon-to-horizon, nadir-pointing sensor. The shape factor technique reduces each measurement to a radiant exitance at the top of the atmosphere by simple division by a constant. The parameter estimation technique processes all measurements together as a batch and defines the radiant exitance as a least-squares fit to the data. The deconvolution technique takes advantage of the fact that spherical harmonies are the eigenfunctions of the measurement operator. All three techniques are derived, and their assumptions, advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Their results are compared globally, zonally, regionally and on a spatial spectrum basis. All three techniques give comparable results for global parameters. However, results on a regional scale were quite different. The standard deviations of the regional differences in radiant exitance varied from 7.4 to 13.5 W m−2. Of the three techniques, the parameter estimation technique produced the best regional results and is the choice of the author.

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