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Accuracy of ground-based microwave radiometer and balloon-borne measurements during the WVIOP2000 field experiment

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4 Author(s)
Cimini, D. ; CETEMPS, L''Aquila Univ., Italy ; Westwater, E.R. ; Yong Han ; Keihm, S.J.

We discuss the performances of a set of four microwave water vapor radiometers operating in the 20-30-GHz band during a field experiment, with an emphasis on calibration and achievable accuracy. The field experiment was conducted at the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program's field site in north central Oklahoma, and was focused on clear-sky water vapor measurements by both radiometers and radiosondes. A comparison between two published radiometric tip curve calibration procedures is presented, and these procedures are applied to measurements from two nearly identical instruments placed a few meters apart. Using the instantaneous tip cal method of the Environmental Technology Laboratory, the brightness temperature measurements for the two identical instruments differed by less than 0.2 K over a 24-h period. Results from reference load cryogenic tests and brightness temperature cross comparisons have shown differences within 0.7 K. In addition, we compare radiometric measurements with calculations of brightness temperature based on the Rosenkranz absorption model and radiosonde observations. During the experiment, both Vaisala-type RS80 and RS90 humidity sensors were used. Our comparisons demonstrate the improvements achieved by the new Vaisala RS90 sensors in atmospheric humidity profiling, which reduce or eliminate the "dry bias" problem.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 11 )