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Water Vapor Profiling From CoSSIR Radiometric Measurements

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4 Author(s)
Wang, J.R. ; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt ; Chang, L.A. ; Monosmith, B. ; Zhaonan Zhang

Previous water vapor profiling by millimeterwave radiometry using the 183-GHz absorption line is generally limited to an altitude range of 0-11 km. The additional measurements at the frequencies of 380.2 0.8, 380.2 1.8, 380.2 3.3, and 380.2 6.2 GHz by the new airborne compact scanning submillimeterwave imaging radiometer (CoSSIR) reported in this paper can extend this profiling capability up to an altitude of about 15 km. This is demonstrated by recent CoSSIR measurements onboard the NASA WB-57 aircraft in a flight from Texas to Costa Rica on January 14, 2006. Retrievals of water vapor mixing ratio were performed at eight altitudes of 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 km from the CoSSIR data set acquired at observational angles of 0 and 53.4. The results were compared with other available measurements from near-concurrent satellites. A very good agreement was found between the collocated values of total precipitable water (TPW) derived from the CoSSIR-retrieved water vapor profiles and those estimated from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager; the average TPW differences range between 0.30 and 0.64 cm, depending on CoSSIR's observational angles. The accuracy of the retrievals was inferred from an analysis of inflight CoSSIR radiometric signal fluctuations.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 1 )