Articles | Volume 9, issue 8
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-3467-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-3467-2016
Research article
 | 
01 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 01 Aug 2016

The Moon as a photometric calibration standard for microwave sensors

Martin Burgdorf, Stefan A. Buehler, Theresa Lang, Simon Michel, and Imke Hans

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Short summary
The upper-tropospheric humidity is an essential climate variable, which can be measured with microwave sounders in polar orbits. A stable photometric calibration of these instruments is indispensable for detecting long-term trends. We demonstrate that this can be achieved by using the Moon in a fixed phase as a flux standard for dedicated pitch maneuver observations. This method is particularly suited for future sensors with small beamwidths.