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https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-229
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-229
29 Jan 2024
 | 29 Jan 2024

An evaluation of atmospheric absorption models at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths using airborne observations

Stuart Fox, Vinia Mattioli, Emma Turner, Alan Vance, Domenico Cimini, and Donatello Gallucci

Abstract. Accurate gas absorption models at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths are required to make best use of observations from instruments on board the next generation of EUMETSAT polar-orbiting weather satellites, including the Ice Cloud Imager (ICI), which measures at frequencies up to 664 GHz. In this study, airborne observations of clear-sky scenes between 89 and 664 GHz are used to evaluate two state-of-the-art absorption models by performing radiative closure calculations. Observed brightness temperatures are compared to simulated values from the Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator (ARTS) for both upward and downward-looking viewing directions. It is shown that uncertainties in the atmospheric water vapour profile can have a significant impact on individual comparisons, but these errors can be reduced by averaging across multiple flights. For upward looking views, which have the greatest sensitivity to the absorption model, the mean differences between observed and simulated brightness temperatures are generally close to, or within, the estimated spectroscopic uncertainty. For downward-looking views, which more closely match the satellite viewing geometry, the mean differences were generally less than 1.5 K, with the exception of window channels at 89 and 157 GHz, which are significantly influenced by surface properties. These results suggest that both of the absorption models considered are sufficiently accurate for use with ICI.

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Stuart Fox, Vinia Mattioli, Emma Turner, Alan Vance, Domenico Cimini, and Donatello Gallucci

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-229', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Mar 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Stuart Fox, 13 May 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-229', Anonymous Referee #2, 27 Mar 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Stuart Fox, 13 May 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-229', Anonymous Referee #3, 14 Apr 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Stuart Fox, 14 May 2024
Stuart Fox, Vinia Mattioli, Emma Turner, Alan Vance, Domenico Cimini, and Donatello Gallucci
Stuart Fox, Vinia Mattioli, Emma Turner, Alan Vance, Domenico Cimini, and Donatello Gallucci

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Short summary
Airborne observations are used to evaluate two models for absorption and emission by atmospheric gases, including water vapour and oxygen, at microwave and sub-millimetre wavelengths. These models are needed for the Ice Cloud Imager (ICI) on the next generation of European polar-orbiting weather satellites, which measures at frequencies up to 664 GHz. Both the models can provide a good match to measurements from airborne radiometers, and are sufficiently accurate for use with ICI.