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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 9 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 1891-1903, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 15 Sep 2011

Research article | 15 Sep 2011

Retrieval of tropospheric water vapour by using spectra of a 22 GHz radiometer

R. Bleisch1, N. Kämpfer1, and A. Haefele1,* R. Bleisch et al.
  • 1Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • *now at: MeteoSwiss, Chemin d'Aérologie, 1530 Payerne, Switzerland

Abstract. In this paper, we present an approach to retrieve tropospheric water vapour profiles from pressure broadened emission spectra at 22 GHz, measured by a ground based microwave radiometer installed in the south of Bern at 905 m.

Classical microwave instruments concentrating on the troposphere observe several channels in the center and the wings of the water vapour line (20–30 Ghz), whereas our retrieval approach uses spectra with a bandwidth of 1 GHz and a high resolution around the center of the 22 GHz water vapour line.

The retrieval is sensitive up to 7 km with a vertical resolution of 3–5 km. Comparisons with profiles from operational balloon soundings, performed at Payerne, 40 km away from the radiometer location, showed a good agreement up to 7 km with a correlation of above 0.8. The retrievals shows a wet bias of 10–20% compared to the sounding.

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