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A simple equation for determining sea surface emissivity in the 3-15 µm region

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The high level of accuracy demanded for the sea surface temperature retrieval from infrared data requires an accurate determination of directional sea surface emissivity (SSE). Previous models have permitted calculating SSEs using a physical characterization of sea surface roughness and emission. However, these result in complex equations, and make an operational application difficult. This paper presents a simple SSE algorithm based on a parametrization of one of these models, which was selected as a reference since it reproduces SSE experimental data to a reasonable level of accuracy. The parametrization provides the SSE variation with observation angle and wind speed from a given nadir SSE value, using only one channel-dependent coefficient. This coefficient and the nadir SSE value are given for the IR bands of several current satellite sensors: ENVISAT-AATSR, EOSTerra/Aqua-MODIS, NOAA17-AVHRR and MSG-SEVIRI. The average standard error of the SSE estimate using the proposed equation is±0.0009.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Earth Physics and Thermodynamics, Faculty of Physics, University of Valencia, E-46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spain

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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