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Multi-sensor Improved SST (MISST) for GODAE Part I: Chelle Gentemann, Gary Wick Part II: Jim Cummings, Eric Bayler AQUA AMSR-E MODIS. TRMM TMI. GOES Imager. POES AVHRR. ENVISAT AATSR. Outline. MISST Project Outline of tasks FY1 report

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Multi-sensor Improved SST


Part I: Chelle Gentemann, Gary Wick

Part II: Jim Cummings, Eric Bayler












  • MISST Project
    • Outline of tasks
  • FY1 report
    • Milestones completed, issues raised
  • FY2 report
    • Tasks completed, issues raised
end goal
End Goal
  • Produce a NRT global daily 10 km SST using IR and MW sensors (AVHRR, MODIS, TMI, AMSR-E, AATSR, …)
  • Demonstrate the impact of these improved SSTs on operational ocean models, NWP, and tropical cyclone intensity forecasting

Move incomplete and inhomogeneous data

Blended NRT SSTs

Global 10 km Daily

Fig. O. Arino

project organization
Project Organization
  • 6 Task groups identified, PI assigned, timeline and work plan available at
    • Data Provision (Chelle)
    • Sensor Errors MW (Chelle)
    • Sensor Errors IR (Gary)
    • Diurnal warming & skin layer models (Gary)
    • Analyses (Jim)
    • Impact Studies (Eric)
project milestones fy1
Project Milestones FY1

As usual….. even with the best laid plans, everything changes the day you start work.

project milestones fy11
Project Milestones FY1
  • Purchase & install DPCF, download datasets, provide read software

Purchased 4 computers: dual processor, PC, 2 TB

MISST1: produces AMSR-E & TMI L2P

MISST2: open development

MISST3: Master, one slave fusion

MISST4: 2 slave fusion

Leveraged computer to run NRT buoy matchups and MW only fusion

Datasets: TMI, AMSR-E, SSM/I, Terra MODIS, Aqua MODIS, Pathfinder AVHRR, Navy orbital AVHRR, Navy GOES, NOAA GOES, GTS buoys, M-AERI, CIRIMS, RTG SST, Reynolds SST, some of Jim’s 12-km SSTs,

project milestones fy12
Project Milestones FY1

2) Software to calculate MODIS time of observation

RSMAS provides orbital information to RSS. RSS estimates the time of observation using the nadir track information and an orbit simulator developed at RSS. Creates time-of-observation maps to go along with gridded observations.

project milestones fy13
Project Milestones FY1

4) SSES development for AVHRR, TMI, AMSR-E

  • Our ability to accurately merge MW and IR data at 10 km depends on our ability to accurately calculate the bias and STD for each retrieval
  • Sensor-specific error statistics (SSES) including bias and STD will be generated for all retrievals

SSES development reports for TMI, AMSR-E, AVHRR, and GOES on MISST website.

fy1 progress
FY1 Progress
  • Updates to operational Navy calculation of AVHRR errors

FNMOC-Stennis now operationally updates bias/STD daily. AOD added for possible future aerosol correction.

fy1 progress1
FY1 Progress


4) AVHRR biases/STD calculated as a function of time of observation, month, channel differences, side of scan, latitude, scan angle

5) Report on estimation of errors due to aerosols: type of aerosol, vertical distribution, clear sky τ -- all important

Report for JCSDA project on use of NAAPS Product for reducing aerosol-induced bias in AVHRR SST retrievals, A. Harris, NOAA-CICS, University of Maryland

Figure 3. Linear dependencies of ∂Ti/∂Χ on total clear-sky (i.e. no aerosol) transmittance, simulated for desert aerosol.

fy1 progress2
FY1 Progress

NRT TMI, AMSR-E, AVHRR matchup databases available online

  • TMI and AMSR-E biases /STD calculated from static lookup table (F(SST,wind speed) + NRT buoy matchups
project milestones fy14
Project Milestones FY1

5) Production of L2P-lite AVHRR, TMI, AMSR-E

The MISST team decided to postpone production of L2P for AVHRR and focus efforts on improving operational methodology for error characterization.

L2P TMI and AMSR-E are both being produced operationally at RSS and distributed through the MISST website. TOB, SST, Bias(t,u,sst), STD(t,u,sst), estimate of Diurnal Warming, confidence value.

project milestones fy15
Project Milestones FY1

6) (AND FINAL Task) Deliver initial diurnal and skin layer modules

Modules developed and available on MISST website.

Gentemann diurnal model currently implemented in TMI and AMSR-E L2P, update of model synchronized with next re-processing.

project milestones fy2
Project Milestones FY2

June 2005 – June 2006

1) SSES development for MODIS-Terra, MODIS-Aqua, and GOES, AMSR, WindSAT

3) Update SSES for AVHRR, TMI, and AMSR-E.

4) Production L2P for AVHRR, TMI, and AMSR-E.

5) Update diurnal and skin layer modules.

6) Produce blended AVHRR, TMI, AMSR-E SST

7) Begin validation of MISST

8) Begin impact studies

project milestones fy21
Project Milestones FY2

2) SSES development for MODIS-Terra, MODIS-Aqua, and GOES, AMSR, WindSAT

On-going for all instruments except AMSR, reports expected by June.

project milestones fy22
Project Milestones FY2

3) Update SSES for AVHRR, TMI, and AMSR-E.

Didn’t we get it right the first time… ?

avhrr sses

Multiple initial proposed methodologies for the computation of SSES for the AVHRR were inter-compared using extended collocations with drifting and moored buoys. 

The effectiveness of the formulations were objectively assessed through application to direct differencing of IR and MW data. 

Result: A multi-tiered look-up error table

-data availability determines optimal combinations of inputs

-different methodologies are recommended for NRT or reanalysis


Skin and Bulk Sea Surface Temperature Estimates from Passive Microwave and Thermal Infrared Satellite Imagery and their Relationships to Atmospheric Forcing, S. Castro, B. Emery, G. Wick, IGARSS 2004


Additional regional biases in TMI investigated: land contamination flag added, increase in STD when near land, and regional biases studied – related to stability of boundary layer, (water vapor, air temperature)

tmi sses


  • Working on land contamination – work-arounds detailed in SSES report
project milestones fy23
Project Milestones FY2

4) Production L2P for AVHRR, TMI, and AMSR-E.

TMI, AMSR-E continuing.

AVHRR – craig owes doug beer

project milestones fy24
Project Milestones FY2

5) Update diurnal and skin layer modules

Diurnal model update ongoing. Driven by ETL results and analysis of M-AERI/CIRIMS diurnal events

1-month Boulder collaboration (Wick/Ward) SkinDeEP profile comparisons to simulations from full diurnal warming models.

-Identified the best combination of model physics for use in evaluation of simplified parameterizations and quantified expected errors in estimates of diurnal warming. 

-Sensitivity studies revealed optimal sources of wind speed and insolation data for diurnal warming calculations based on non-continuous satellite data. 

-Instantaneous winds provide the best results for modeled skin temperatures while averaged winds result in reduced error in predicted subsurface temperature. 

-The impact of short term insolation variations was found to be significant only in morning hours.

1-month Fiji field work (Gentemann)

project milestones fy25
Project Milestones FY2

6) Produce blended AVHRR, TMI, AMSR-E SST

NRL producing 12-km AVHRR OI SST in NRT, exp w/ TMI & AMSR-E

RSS experimental MODIS, TMI, AMSR-E 10km OI SST

-working out coastal/open ocean IR/MW

-diurnal application

NOAA blended POES/GOES (regional)

rss 10km modis tmi amsr e
  • Global OI SSTs -> increasing resolutions
project milestones fy26
Project Milestones FY2

7) Begin validation of MISST

-on going

8) Begin impact studies


misst present status
MISST Present Status
  • NRT satellite – in situ matchup database for AVHRR, AMSR-E, and TMI (used in NRT determination of error statistics)
  • Diurnal warming model, shown to reduce day-night differences in SSTs
  • Optimal application of diurnal model to MODIS on-going
  • Producing NRT TMI & AMSR-E SSTs with error statistics and estimates of diurnal warming
  • Global Daily NRT 12 km AVHRR SST
  • Global Daily experimental 10km MODIS+TMI+AMSR-E SST
  • Global Daily NRT 25 km TMI+AMSR-E SST
  • Experimental Regional NOAA GOES/POES
  • Website: has links to products, information, and a timeline




thank you
Thank you!

L2P out the door.

Still working on Analyses ----- develop & waiting for validation

Actively looking for users and pictures for Stan/Eric.