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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-178
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-178
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 May 2019

Research article | 08 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

An experimental 2DVAR retrieval using AMSR2

David Ian Duncan, Patrick Eriksson, and Simon Pfreundschuh David Ian Duncan et al.
  • Department of Earth, Space, and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, SE 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract. A two-dimensional variational retrieval (2DVAR) is presented for a passive microwave imager. The overlapping antenna patterns of all frequencies from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-2 (AMSR2) are explicitly simulated to attempt retrieval of near surface wind speed and surface skin temperature at finer spatial scales than individual antenna beams. This is achieved, with the effective spatial resolution of retrieved parameters shown by analysis of 2DVAR averaging kernels. Sea surface temperature retrievals achieve about 30 km resolution, with wind speed retrievals at about 10 km resolution. It is argued that multi-dimensional optimal estimation permits greater use of total information content from microwave sensors than other methods, with no compromises on target resolution needed; instead, various targets are retrieved at the highest possible spatial resolution, driven by the channels' sensitivities. All AMSR2 channels can be simulated within near their published noise characteristics for observed clear-sky scenes, though calibration and emissivity model errors are key challenges. This experimental retrieval shows the feasibility of 2DVAR for cloud-free retrievals, and opens the possibility of standalone 3DVAR retrievals of water vapour and hydrometeor fields from microwave imagers in the future. The results have implications for future satellite missions and sensor design, as spatial oversampling can somewhat mitigate the need for larger antennas in the push for higher spatial resolution.

David Ian Duncan et al.
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David Ian Duncan et al.
Model code and software

Supporting code for AMT submission on 2DVAR retrievals from AMSR2 D. I. Duncan https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2655053

David Ian Duncan et al.
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Latest update: 17 Jul 2019
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Short summary
The overlapping beams of some satellite observations contain spatial information that is discarded by most data processing techniques. This study applies an established technique in a new way to improve the spatial resolution of retrieval targets, effectively using the overlapping information to achieve a higher ultimate resolution. It is argued that this is a more optimal use of the total information available from current microwave sensors, using AMSR2 as an example.
The overlapping beams of some satellite observations contain spatial information that is...
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