Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Research article
13 Apr 2017
Research article |  | 13 Apr 2017

Long-term assessment of the CALIPSO Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) calibration and stability through simulated and observed comparisons with MODIS/Aqua and SEVIRI/Meteosat

Anne Garnier, Noëlle A. Scott, Jacques Pelon, Raymond Armante, Laurent Crépeau, Bruno Six, and Nicolas Pascal

Abstract. The quality of the calibrated radiances of the medium-resolution Imaging Infrared Radiometer (IIR) on-board the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) satellite is quantitatively evaluated from the beginning of the mission in June 2006. Two complementary relative and stand-alone approaches are used, which are related to comparisons of measured brightness temperatures and to model-to-observations comparisons, respectively. In both cases, IIR channels 1 (8.65 µm), 2 (10.6 µm), and 3 (12.05 µm) are paired with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)/Aqua Collection 5 companion channels 29, 31, and 32, respectively, as well as with the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI)/Meteosat companion channels IR8.7, IR10.8, and IR12, respectively. These pairs were selected before launch to meet radiometric, geometric, and space-time constraints. The prelaunch studies were based on simulations and sensitivity studies using the 4A/OP radiative transfer model and the more than 2300 atmospheres of the climatological Thermodynamic Initial Guess Retrieval (TIGR) input dataset further sorted into five air mass types. Using data from over 9.5 years of on-orbit operation, and following the relative approach technique, collocated measurements of IIR and of its companion channels have been compared at all latitudes over ocean, during day and night, and for all types of scenes in a wide range of brightness temperatures. The relative approach shows an excellent stability of IIR2–MODIS31 and IIR3–MODIS32 brightness temperature differences (BTDs) since launch. A slight trend within the IIR1–MODIS29 BTD, that equals −0.02 K yr−1 on average over 9.5 years, is detected when using the relative approach at all latitudes and all scene temperatures. For very cold scene temperatures (190–200 K) in the tropics, each IIR channel is warmer than its MODIS companion channel by 1.6 K on average. For the stand-alone approach, clear sky measurements only are considered, which are directly compared with simulations using 4A/OP and collocated ERA-Interim (ERA-I) reanalyses. The clear sky mask is derived from collocated observations from IIR and the CALIPSO lidar. Simulations for clear sky pixels in the tropics reproduce the differences between IIR1 and MODIS29 within 0.02 K and between IIR2 and MODIS31 within 0.04 K, whereas IIR3–MODIS32 is larger than simulated by 0.26 K. The stand-alone approach indicates that the trend identified from the relative approach originates from MODIS29, whereas no trend (less than ±0.004 K yr−1) is identified for any of the IIR channels. Finally, using the relative approach, a year-by-year seasonal bias between nighttime and daytime IIR–MODIS BTD was found at mid-latitude in the Northern Hemisphere. It is due to a nighttime IIR bias as determined by the stand-alone approach, which originates from a calibration drift during day-to-night transitions. The largest bias is in June and July when IIR2 and IIR3 are warmer by 0.4 K on average, and IIR1 is warmer by 0.2 K.

Short summary
An assessment of IIR radiances after 9.5 years of nearly continuous operation since June 2006 is presented. First, IIR is compared with similar MODIS or SEVIRI channels in various conditions. Second, clear sky measurements in each channel are compared with simulations. The first approach detects biases and/or trends, and the second approach contributes to identifying which channel deviates from the other. The analyses are based on simulations using the 4A/OP radiative transfer model.