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Stabilization of the Brightness Temperature of a Calibration Warm Load for Spaceborne Microwave Radiometers

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4 Author(s)
Giovanni De Amici ; Northrop Grumman Space Technol., Redondo Beach ; Ryan A. Layton ; Shannon T. Brown ; David Kunkee

We present the results of a study that shows that a simple design modification is sufficient to avoid a major shortcoming in the layout of external warm loads commonly used in the calibration of spaceborne microwave radiometers. The modification consists of placing a layer of Plastazote, a polyethylene foam, over the opening of the warm load enclosure. The foam is transparent at micrometer and millimeter wavelengths, is opaque in the infrared and visible, and isolates the warm load from the environment, keeping the temperature of the radiometric warm load constant. The proposed solution can be easily implemented and is suitable even for retrofitting on instruments that have already been built but not yet launched, and the material presents no obvious shortcomings that could prevent its intended application in space.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 7 )