Computer Modeling Laboratory 7

Written report due: 4 April

Sounding of atmospheric temperature.

Lectures 9

  1. The concept of the weighting function is the central to the sounding techniques. An example of the real weighing function is shown here.
    1. Explain why the lower and upper parts of the atmosphere have the smallest values of the weighing function. Check your explanation here.
    2. The altitude at which the peak of the weighting function occurs depends on the strength of absorption for a given channel.
      The channels located in the center of an absorbing line peak high in the atmosphere. Briefly explain why?
      The channels located in the wings of the absorbing line peak low in the atmosphere. Briefly explain why?
  2. The High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) is a sounding instrument that provides important information on the vertical profile of atmospheric temperature in cloud-free conditions. HIRS has been the primary source of atmospheric sounding data from NOAA satellites since first flown on TIROS-N (Television InfraRed Operational Satellite-N) in 1978.
    1. This plot shows the NOAA-14 HIRS Spectral Response Functions superimposed on a calculated, high-resolution brightness temperature spectrum for the cloud-free condition. Which of HIRS channels can be used for retrievals of temperature? Which of HIRS channels can be used for retrievals of water vapor? Briefly explain why.
    2. This plot shows the transmission calculated for some NOAA-14 HIRS channels. Sketch the weighting functions for channels 2, 10, and 12 and briefly explain their behavior.
  3. AMSU (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit) is a new microwave sounder that also flies on the NOAA satellites. This table compares the channels of AMSU-A with other microwave satellite instruments
    1. Which AMSU-A channels can be used for the temperature profile retrievals? Briefly explain why.
      HINT: look at the microwave spectrum
    2. Comparing two AMSU-A channels 3 and 8, which channel has the weighting function with a higher peak in the atmosphere? Briefly explain why.
  4. The sounding techniques are also actively used in space science. In your opinion, will it be possible to perform sounding of the temperature profile of the Martian atmosphere? If yes, then in what spectral regions?
    HINT: Think about composition of the Martian atmosphere. For more help, look for info on a Mars climate sounder of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission.