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Assessing the Measurement Consistency Between the Jason-2/AMR and SARAL/AltiKa/DFMR Microwave Radiometers Using Simultaneous Nadir Observations

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SARAL/AltiKa has a Dual Frequency Microwave Radiometer (DFMR), and Jason-2 has an Advanced Microwave Radiometer (AMR). Both microwave radiometer sensors include a 23.8 GHz primary water sensing channel. The measurement consistencies between DFMR and AMR are important for establishing a consistent altimetry data set between SARAL/AltiKa and Jason-2 in order to accurately assess sea level rise in a long-term time series. This study investigates the measurement consistency in the 23.8 GHz channel between DFMR and AMR at the Simultaneous Nadir Overpasses (SNO's) between the two satellites and also at coldest ocean brightness temperature locations. Preliminary results show that while both instruments show no significant trends over the one year since the launch of SARAL, a consistent relative bias of 2.88 K (DFMR higher than AMR) with a standard deviation of 0.98 K is observed. The relative bias at the lowest brightness temperature from the SNO method (-3.82 K) is consistent with that calculated from coldest ocean method (-3.74 K). The relative bias exhibits strong latitude (and scene temperature) dependency, changing from -3.82 K at high latitudes to -0.92 K near the equator. There also exists an asymmetry between the northern and southern hemisphere. The relative bias increases toward the lower end of brightness temperature.
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Keywords: Keywords Calibration; altimeter calibration; dual frequency; microwave radiometer

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Earth Resource Technology, Silver Spring, MD, USA 2: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NESDIS, STAR, College Park, MD, USA

Publication date: September 10, 2015

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