esm 266 passive microwave remote sensing l.
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ESM 266: Passive microwave remote sensing. Jeff Dozier. Frequency-wavelength relation. Generally in the microwave part of the spectrum we use frequency instead of wavelength Typically measured in s –1 , called Hertz (Hz) Most often Gigahertz (GHz) = 10 9 Hz. Microwave band codes.

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frequency wavelength relation
Frequency-wavelength relation
  • Generally in the microwave part of the spectrum we use frequency instead of wavelength
  • Typically measured in s–1, called Hertz (Hz)
    • Most often Gigahertz (GHz) = 109Hz
advantages of passive microwave remote sensing
Advantages of passive microwave remote sensing
  • Sees through clouds at lower frequencies
  • Long heritage, various instruments since 1978
  • Emissivity sensitive to state of surface, particularly moisture
    • Soil moisture
    • Snow-water equivalent
    • (water is ~80× as absorptive as ice at these frequencies, whereas in visible through infrared, water and ice have similar absorption coefficients)
  • But, because of small amount of energy emitted, pixel size must be large
planck equation f frequency temperature
Planck equation = f(frequency,Temperature)

Planck radiation at20,000 GHz is 36,000greater than at 37 GHz,so pixels at lower frequenciesmust be bigger

rayleigh jeans approximation to planck equation
Rayleigh-Jeans approximation to Planck equation
  • Linear relation between Planck radiation and frequency, on a log-log plot, suggests a power function

the really useful simplification involves emissivity and brightness temperature
The really useful simplification involves emissivity and brightness temperature
  • Emissivity varies with frequency and polarization
eos aqua satellite afternoon overpass
EOS Aqua satellite (afternoon overpass)
  • Six instruments, 3 in microwave
  • AIRS
  • AMSR-E, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS
    • AMSR also flies on ADEOS-II (Japanese)
  • AMSU, Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit
  • HSB, Humidity Sounder for Brazil
sea ice from amsr sea of okhotsk
Sea ice from AMSR, Sea of Okhotsk

Sea ice, 18 Jan 2003

Motion vectors, 10hrs

amsr e products
AMSR-E products
  • 6 frequencies, 12 channels (dual polarization), from 6.9-89 GHz
    • Precipitation rate
    • Cloud water
    • Water vapor
    • Sea-surface winds
    • Sea-surface temperature
    • Sea ice
    • Snow-water equivalent
    • Soil moisture
aqua s delta ii rocket
Aqua’s Delta II Rocket

(photos by Bill Ingalls)

the aqua sounding suite
The Aqua Sounding Suite

Humidity Sounder for Brazil (HSB)

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)

Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU; two units)



key improvements anticipated from airs amsu hsb data
Key Improvements Anticipated from AIRS/AMSU/HSB Data
  • Atmospheric temperatures to accuracies of 1 K in 1-km layers.
  • Atmospheric humidities to 10 % in 2-km layers.
  • Resultant improved weather forecasting.

Launch of a radiosonde

sample airs infrared spectra
Sample AIRS Infrared Spectra

a. Data from all 2378 AIRS infrared channels for one footprint off the west coast of South Africa, June 13, 2002, 1:30 UTC.

500 1000 1500 2000 2500 wavenumber (cm-1)

20 10 6.7 5 4 wavelength (m)

b. Detail showing the leftmost 128 of the 2378 channels in plot a.

texas thunderstorms as seen in amsu and hsb imagery june 16 2002
Texas Thunderstorms as Seen in AMSU and HSB Imagery, June 16, 2002

AMSU Ch. 2 (31.4 GHz)

AMSU Ch. 3 (50.3 GHz)

AMSU Ch. 4 (52.8 GHz)

AMSU Ch. 5 (53.94 GHz)

HSB Ch. 2 (150 GHz)

HSB Ch. 3 (183±1 GHz)

HSB Ch. 4 (183±3 GHz)

HSB Ch. 5 (183±7 GHz)

hurricane alma west of mexico may 29 2002 from hsb and airs
Hurricane Alma, west of Mexico, May 29, 2002, from HSB and AIRS

HSB 150 GHz data

AIRS Visible/Near IR data

(images courtesy of the AIRS Science Team)

surface conditions and moisture streams in the vicinity of northern europe july 20 2002
Surface Conditions and Moisture Streams in the Vicinity of Northern Europe, July 20, 2002

Surface Conditions from AMSU

Moisture Streams from HSB

typhoon in the east china sea july 4 2002 from amsr e
Typhoon in the East China Sea July 4, 2002, from AMSR-E



AMSR-E image, 2:26 a.m. Japan Standard Time (JST).



Precipitation over the Eastern U.S. and Vicinity, from AMSR-E and the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), June 5, 2002

TMI Total Rainfall

AMSR-E Total Rainfall

(images courtesy of Chris Kummerow and Bob Adler)

sample record to be extended with the amsr e data north polar sea ice extents
Sample Record to be Extended with the AMSR-E Data: North Polar Sea Ice Extents

Ice extent deviations from the Nimbus 7 SMMR and DMSP SSMI

(extended from Parkinson et al., 1999)

amsr products and algorithms
AMSR products and algorithms
  • AMSR Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents
  • Land surface parameters
    • Soil moisture, surface temperature, vegetation water
  • Brightness temperatures
  • Ocean
    • Sea-surface temperature, wind speed, water vapor, cloud water
  • Rainfall (works best over oceans)
  • Sea ice
    • Concentration, temperature, snow on sea ice
    • Nice graphic from New York Times on sea ice decline
  • Snow water equivalent
    • For dry snow, snow reduces apparent brightness temperature from soil
    • For wet snow, mainly detects that snow is wet