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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 7 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 4005-4014, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jul 2018

Research article | 11 Jul 2018

Inter-channel uniformity of a microwave sounder in space

Martin Burgdorf, Imke Hans, Marc Prange, Theresa Lang, and Stefan A. Buehler Martin Burgdorf et al.
  • Universität Hamburg, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Meteorological Institute, Bundesstraße 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. We analyzed intrusions of the Moon in the deep space view of the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B on the NOAA-16 satellite and found no significant discrepancies in the signals from the different sounding channels between 2001 and 2008. However, earlier investigations had detected biases of up to 10K, by using simultaneous nadir overpasses of NOAA-16 with other satellites. These discrepancies in the observations of Earth scenes cannot be due to non-linearity of the receiver or contamination of the deep space view without affecting the signal from the Moon as well. As neither major anomalies of the on-board calibration target nor the local oscillator were present, we consider radio frequency interference in combination with a strongly decreasing gain the most obvious reason for the degrading photometric stability. By means of the chosen example we demonstrate the usefulness of the Moon for investigations of the performance of microwave sounders in flight.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We analysed observations of the Moon with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B on the NOAA-16 satellite in order to search for bias in the sounding channels. Significant bias had been detected in the past on the basis of simultaneous nadir overpasses. With the Moon providing a quite different reference flux than the on-board calibration target and Earth scenes, radio-frequency interference emerged as the best explanation for the anomalies of channel 20 of AMSU-B on NOAA-16.
We analysed observations of the Moon with the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-B on the NOAA-16...