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Potential of SSMIS to derive cloud liquid water over sea ice

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Passive microwave measurements from satellite sensors like SSM/I deliver valuable information on sea ice and atmospheric conditions in polar regions. In late 2003, the successor of SSM/I, the SSMIS on board the DMSP satellite F16, was launched. It combines the channels of SSM/I, SSM/T and SSM/T2 into a single instrument with a constant incidence angle on the surface of 53.3°. At the time of this writing, SSMIS data are still to be released to the broader scientific user community. However, radiative transfer modelling and comparisons to algorithms for similar sensors like SSM/I can give an idea of how the retrieval of atmospheric parameters become more accurate or be extended to additional surface types once the data are available. This letter discusses the possibilities of retrieving cloud liquid water with this new sensor based on the results of radiative transfer modelling for typical Arctic atmospheres. Moreover, the increase of accuracy for an existing cloud liquid water algorithm, the R-factor method, with additional water vapour information is shown.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, D - 28359 Bremen, Germany 2: Danish Meteorological Institute, DK - 2100 København Ø, Denmark

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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