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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 27 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Inter-calibrating SMMR brightness temperatures over continental surfaces

Samuel Favrichon1,2, Carlos Jimenez2,1, and Catherine Prigent1,2 Samuel Favrichon et al.
  • 1Sorbonne Université, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, CNRS, LERMA, Paris, France
  • 2Estellus, Paris, France

Abstract. Microwave remote sensing can be used to monitor the time evolution of some key parameters over land, such as land surface temperature or surface water extent. Observations are made with instrument such as the Scanning Microwave Multichannel Radiometer (SMMR) before 1987, the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and the following Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) from 1987 and still operating, to the more recent Global Precipitation Mission Microwave Imager (GMI). As these instruments differ on some of their characteristics and use different calibration schemes, they need to be inter-calibrated before long time series products can be derived from the observations. Here an inter-calibration method is designed to remove major inconsistencies between the SMMR and other microwave radiometers for the 18 GHz and 37 GHz channels over continental surfaces. Because of a small overlap in observations and a ~6 h difference in overpassing times between SMMR and SSM/I, GMI was chosen as a reference despite the lack of a common observing period. The diurnal cycles from three years of GMI brightness temperatures are first calculated, and then used to evaluate SMMR differences. Based on a statistical analysis of the differences, a simple linear correction is implemented to calibrate SMMR on GMI. This correction is shown to also reduce the biases between SMMR and SSM/I, and can then be applied to SMMR observations to make them more coherent with existing data record of microwave brightness temperatures over continental surfaces.

Samuel Favrichon et al.

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Samuel Favrichon et al.

Samuel Favrichon et al.


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Latest update: 17 Feb 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Long term monitoring of satellite derived variables is necessary for a better understanding of the evolution of Earth parameters at global scale. However different instruments' observations used over the years need to be inter-calibrated with each other to provide meaningful information. This paper describes how a linear correction can improve the observations from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer over continental surfaces to be more consistent with more recent radiometers.
Long term monitoring of satellite derived variables is necessary for a better understanding of...