The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) operates a fleet of civilian, polar-orbiting, environmental satellites that provide users and researchers with a continuous suite of atmospheric and surface products on a global scale. The first advanced TIROS operational vertical sounder (ATOVS) radiometer configuration, onboard NOAA-15, was successfully launched into an early evening orbit on 13 May 1998. The ATOVS featured the new 13 channel advanced microwave sounding unit (AMSU) module A1, the 2 channel AMSU-A2 and 5 channel AMSU-B radiometers, which replaced the MSU and SSU, along with a similar HIRS and AVHRR instrument payload (Goodrun G., Kidwell, K.B. and Winston, W., 2000, NOAA-KLM users guide: September 2000 revision, Technical Document, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, National Climatic Data Center) that had been operational since 1979. The ATOVS onboard NOAA-16 was successfully launched into an afternoon orbit on 21 September 2000, followed by NOAA-17 into a late evening orbit on 24 June 2002, creating the first ever three-satellite constellation of operational polar satellites (ATOVS). The following report summarizes the online and offline scientific processing systems, respectively, for deriving the NESDIS operational ATOVS sounding products and presents a series of results for the unique three-operational-satellite configuration of NOAA-15, 16 and 17. Results focus on the value of the derived products in the analyses of global and regional scale weather, including direct comparisons against collocated numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecast and radiosonde data. The report is prefaced by a brief history of satellite weather products and concludes with future plans to meet expanding user requirements.
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Document Type: Research Article
NOAA/NESDIS, Camp Springs, Maryland, 20746, USA
I. M. Systems Group Inc., Rockville, Maryland, USA
Raytheon ITSS, Landover, Maryland, USA
Raytheon Information Solutions, Landover, Maryland, USA
Publication date: 2008-01-01
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