Articles | Volume 6, issue 9
Research article
25 Sep 2013
Research article |  | 25 Sep 2013

Microwave radiometer to retrieve temperature profiles from the surface to the stratopause

O. Stähli, A. Murk, N. Kämpfer, C. Mätzler, and P. Eriksson

Abstract. TEMPERA (TEMPERature RAdiometer) is a new ground-based radiometer which measures in a frequency range from 51–57 GHz radiation emitted by the atmosphere. With this instrument it is possible to measure temperature profiles from ground to about 50 km. This is the first ground-based instrument with the capability to retrieve temperature profiles simultaneously for the troposphere and stratosphere. The measurement is done with a filterbank in combination with a digital fast Fourier transform spectrometer. A hot load and a noise diode are used as stable calibration sources. The optics consist of an off-axis parabolic mirror to collect the sky radiation. Due to the Zeeman effect on the emission lines used, the maximum height for the temperature retrieval is about 50 km. The effect is apparent in the measured spectra. The performance of TEMPERA is validated by comparison with nearby radiosonde and satellite data from the Microwave Limb Sounder on the Aura satellite. In this paper we present the design and measurement method of the instrument followed by a description of the retrieval method, together with a validation of TEMPERA data over its first year, 2012.