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TOPEX/Poseidon Microwave Radiometer (TMR). I. Instrument description and antenna temperature calibration

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3 Author(s)
C. S. Ruf ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA, USA ; S. J. Keihm ; M. A. Janssen

The TOPEX/Poseidon microwave radiometer (TMR) is a three-frequency radiometer flown on the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) satellite in low Earth orbit. It operates at 18, 21, and 37 GHz in a nadir-only viewing direction which is co-aligned with the T/P radar altimeters. The TMR monitors and corrects for the propagation path delay of the altimeter radar signal due to water vapor and nonprecipitating liquid water in the atmosphere. The paper describes the TMR instrument and the radiometric instrument calibration required to derive antenna temperature (TA ) from the raw digital data. TA precision of 0.4 K is predicted on orbit in all expected thermal environments, TA accuracy of 0.5-0.6 K is expected following a post-launch field calibration campaign. These performance figures represent a significant improvement over those of the Seasat and Nimbus-G Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer on which TMR is based. The improvements are the result of specific hardware design and calibration changes. Hardware changes include a redesigned feed horn, to reduce impedance mismatches, and the addition of radomes over the feed and sky horns, to reduce thermal variations. Calibration changes involve more extensive temperature cycling and data analysis during thermal/vacuum testing

Published in:

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