An improved look-up table technique for geophysical parameters from SSM/I
An improved look-up table technique is developed to calculate meteorological parameters from Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) measurements. The method, which is based on a look-up table and an extrapolation and interpolation technique used in the weather prediction model, gives results comparable to or better than the regression method for the total precipitable water (TPW), surface wind speed (V), and cloud liquid water path (LWP). Applied to a noise-free data set (dependent test) TPW, V and LWP are retrieved with a rms. accuracy of 0.26 kg m-2, 0.28 m s-1 and 0.002 kg m-2, respectively. If the random noise of the SSM/I radiometer is taken into account in the retrieval, the r.m.s. increases to 0.84 kg m-2, 1.08 m s-1 and 0.013 kg m-2, respectively. The method is applied to a set of over 520 SSM/I measurements from the DMSP-F8 satellite for which collocated radiosondes launched from ships are available. The rms. (bias) of TPW and V was 2.91 (-0.61) kg m-2 and 2.75 (-0.13) m s-1, respectively. We use the improved look-up table technique to calculate the monthly mean global distribution of surface wind for August 1989 and compare the results with the Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) for the same month. The rms. error and mean differences for the monthly mean values of sea surface wind speed between the retrievals and COADS data are 1.01 m s-1 and 0.03 m s-1, respectively. We also calculate LWP for October 1987 and compare it with the LWP derived from cloud optical thicknesses of International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) dataset. Good agreement is obtained. The extension of the method to calculate cloud water and water vapour profiles is discussed.