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This letter presents an empirical correction for a time-varying radiometric calibration error (2.5 K peak to peak) present in the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) 1B11 calibrated brightness temperature (Tb) data product. The Tb error is modeled as a function of the spacecraft orbit position and the Sun elevation above the orbit plane (solar beta angle) based on the observed systematic differences between the TMI 10-GHz vertically polarized (10-V) channel oceanic Tb's as compared to a radiative transfer model with collocated numerical weather model environmental parameters. Assuming a slightly emissive reflector, the errors in the other TMI channels are estimated from the 10-GHz error model. This method is evaluated using before- and after-correction comparisons of 1B11 data over the ocean and Amazon, and results show that this method effectively eliminates the time-varying calibration error. This correction technique will be implemented in version 7 of the TRMM 1B11 data product, which is scheduled to be released in 2010.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2010