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Intercalibration of Microwave Radiometer Brightness Temperatures for the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission

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6 Author(s)
Biswas, S.K. ; Sch. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA ; Farrar, S. ; Gopalan, K. ; Santos-Garcia, A.
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A technique for comparing spaceborne microwave radiometer brightness temperatures (Tb) is described in the context of the upcoming National Aeronautics and Space Administration Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The GPM mission strategy is to measure precipitation globally with high temporal resolution by using a constellation of satellite radiometers logically united by the GPM core satellite, which will be in a non-sun-synchronous medium inclination orbit. The usefulness of the combined product depends on the consistency of precipitation retrievals from the various microwave radiometers. The Tb calibration requirement to achieve such consistency demands first that Tb's from the individual radiometers be free of instrument and measurement artifacts and, second, that these self-consistent Tb's will be translated to a common standard (GPM core) for the unification of the precipitation retrieval. The intersatellite radiometric calibration technique described herein serves both the purposes by comparing individual radiometer observations to radiative transfer model (RTM) simulations (for “self-consistency” check) and by using a double-difference technique (to establish a linear calibration transfer function from one radiometer to another). This double-difference technique subtracts the RTM-simulated difference from the observed difference between a pair of radiometer Tb's. To establish a linear inter-radiometer calibration transfer function, comparisons at both the cold (ocean) and the warm (land) end of the Tb's are necessary so that, using these two points, slope and offset coefficients are determined. To this end, a simplified calibration transfer technique at the warm end (over the Amazon and Congo rain forest) is introduced. Finally, an error model is described that provides an estimate of the uncertainty of the radiometric bias estimate between comparison radiometer channels.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

March 2013

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