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A suite of sensors scheduled to fly onboard the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) satellite in 2011 will continue the Sensor Data Records (SDRs) provided by operational and research missions over the last 40 years. The Cross-track Infrared and Microwave Sounding Suite (CrIMSS), consisting of the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) and the first space-based, Nyquist-sampled cross-track microwave sounder, the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), will provide atmospheric vertical profile information to improve numerical weather and climate modeling. The ability of ATMS to sense temperature and moisture profile information in the presence of non-precipitating clouds complements the high vertical resolution of CrIS. Furthermore, the ability of ATMS to sense scattering of cold cosmic background radiance from the tops of precipitating clouds allows the retrieval of precipitation intensities with useful accuracies over most surface conditions. This paper will present several assessments of the performance of ATMS. Prelaunch testing of ATMS has characterized the principal calibration parameters and has enabled predictions of on-orbit performance with high levels of confidence. Also to be discussed is the planned on-orbit characterization of ATMS, which will further improve both the measurement quality and the understanding of various error contributions.
Date of Conference: 24-29 July 2011