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The High-Altitude MMIC Sounding Radiometer for the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Instrument Description and Performance

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8 Author(s)
Brown, S.T. ; NASA Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Lambrigtsen, B. ; Denning, R.F. ; Gaier, T.
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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's High-Altitude Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) Sounding Radiometer (HAMSR) is a 25-channel cross-track scanning microwave sounder with channels near the 60- and 118-GHz oxygen lines and the 183-GHz water-vapor line. It has previously participated in three hurricane field campaigns, namely, CAMEX-4 (2001), Tropical Cloud Systems and Processes (2005), and NASA African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (2006). The HAMSR instrument was recently extensively upgraded for the deployment on the Global Hawk (GH) unmanned aerial vehicle platform. One of the major upgrades is the addition of a front-end low-noise amplifier, developed by JPL, to the 183-GHz channel which reduces the noise in this channel to less than 0.1 K at the sensor resolution (~2 km). This will enable HAMSR to observe much smaller scale water-vapor features. Another major upgrade is an enhanced data system that provides onboard science processing capability and real-time data access. HAMSR has been well characterized, including passband characterization, along-scan bias characterization, and calibrated noise-performance characterization. The absolute calibration is determined in-flight and has been estimated to be better than 1.5 K from previous campaigns. In 2010, HAMSR participated in the NASA Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes campaign on the GH to study tropical cyclone genesis and rapid intensification. HAMSR-derived products include observations of the atmospheric state through retrievals of temperature, water-vapor, and cloud-liquid-water profiles. Other products include convective intensity, precipitation content, and 3-D storm structure.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 9 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 2011

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