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Modifications to the Water Vapor Continuum in the Microwave Suggested by Ground-Based 150-GHz Observations

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5 Author(s)
David D. Turner ; Space Sci. & Eng. Center, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA ; Maria P. Cadeddu ; Ulrich Lohnert ; Susanne Crewell
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Ground-based observations from two different radiometers are used to evaluate commonly used microwave/millimeter-wave propagation models at 150 GHz. This frequency has strong sensitivity to changes in precipitable water vapor (PWV) and cloud liquid water. The observations were collected near Hesselbach, Germany, as part of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program's support of the General Observing Period and the Convective and Orographic Precipitation Study. The observations from the two radiometers agree well with each other, with a slope of 0.993 and a mean bias of 0.12 K. The observations demonstrate that the relative sensitivity of the different absorption models to PWV in clear-sky conditions at 150 GHz is significant and that four models differ significantly from the observed brightness temperature. These models were modified to get agreement with the 150-GHz observations, where the PWV ranged from 0.35 to 2.88 cm. The models were modified by adjusting the strength of the foreign- and self-broadened water vapor continuum coefficients, where the magnitude was model dependent. In all cases, the adjustment to the two components of the water vapor continuum was in opposite directions (i.e., increasing the contribution from the foreign-broadened component while decreasing contribution from the self-broadened component or vice versa). While the original models had significant disagreements relative to each other, the resulting modified models show much better agreement relative to each other throughout the microwave spectrum. The modified models were evaluated using independent observations at 31.4 GHz.

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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 10 )