Comparison of Ground-Based Millimeter-Wave Observations and Simulations in the Arctic Winter

Author: D. Cimini, F. Nasir, E.R. Westwater, Vivienne H. Payne, D. D. Turner, Eli J. Mlawer, M.L. Exner and M.P. Cadeddu
July 10, 2009
Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Cimini, D. Nasir, F. Westwater, E.R. Payne, V.H. Turner, D.D. Mlawer, E.J. Exner, M.L. Cadeddu, M.P. 2009. Comparison of Ground-Based Millimeter-Wave Observations and Simulations in the Arctic Winter. IEEE-TGARS, Volume 47. Issue 9, Pp.3098-3106. doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2009.2020743

During the Radiative Heating in Underexplored Bands Campaign (RHUBC), held in February-March 2007, three millimeter-wave radiometers were operated at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program's site in Barrow, Alaska. These radiometers contain several channels located around the strong 183.31-GHz water vapor line, which is crucial for ground-based water-vapor measurements in very dry conditions, typical of the Arctic. Simultaneous radiosonde observations were carried out during conditions with very low integrated-water-vapor (IWV) content (< 2 mm). Observations from the three instruments are compared, accounting for their different design characteristics. The overall agreement during RHUBC among the three instruments and between instruments and forward model is discussed quantitatively. In general, the instrument cross-validation performed for sets of channel pairs showed agreement within the total expected uncertainty. The consistency between instruments allows the determination of the IWV to within around 2% for these dry conditions. Comparisons between these data sets and forward-model simulations using radiosondes as input show spectral features in the brightness-temperature residuals, indicating some degree of inconsistency between the instruments and the forward model. The most likely cause of forward-model error is systematic errors in the radiosonde humidity profiles.