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TOPEX/Poseidon microwave radiometer (TMR). III. Wet troposphere range correction algorithm and pre-launch error budget

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3 Author(s)
Keihm, S.J. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Janssen, M.A. ; Ruf, C.S.

For pt.II see ibid., vol.33, no.1, p.138-46 (1995). The sole mission function of the TOPEX/Poseidon microwave radiometer (TMR) is to provide corrections for the altimeter range errors induced by the highly variable atmospheric water vapor content. The three TMR frequencies are shown to be near-optimum for measuring the vapor-induced path delay within an environment of variable cloud cover and variable sea surface flux background. After a review of the underlying physics relevant to the prediction of 5-40 GHz nadir-viewing microwave brightness temperatures, the authors describe the development of the statistical, two-step algorithm used for the TMR retrieval of path delay. Test simulations are presented which demonstrate the uniformity of algorithm performance over a range of cloud liquid and sea surface wind speed conditions. The results indicate that the inherent algorithm error (assuming noise free measurements and an exact physical model) is less than 0.4 cm of retrieved path delay for a global representation of atmospheric conditions. An algorithm error budget is developed which predicts an overall algorithm accuracy of 0.9 cm when modeling uncertainties are included. When combined with expected TMR antenna and brightness temperature accuracies, an overall measurement accuracy of 1.2 cm for the wet troposphere range correction is predicted

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )