Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Research article
20 Sep 2016
Research article |  | 20 Sep 2016

Validation of brightness and physical temperature from two scanning microwave radiometers in the 60 GHz O2 band using radiosonde measurements

Francisco Navas-Guzmán, Niklaus Kämpfer, and Alexander Haefele

Abstract. In this paper, we address the assessment of the tropospheric performance of a new temperature radiometer (TEMPERA) at 60 GHz. With this goal, an intercomparison campaign was carried out at the aerological station of MeteoSwiss in Payerne (Switzerland). The brightness temperature and the tropospheric temperature were assessed by means of a comparison with simultaneous and collocated radiosondes that are launched twice a day at this station. In addition, the TEMPERA performances are compared with the ones from a commercial microwave radiometer (HATPRO), which has some different instrumental characteristics and uses a different inversion algorithm. Brightness temperatures from both radiometers were compared with the ones simulated using a radiative transfer model and atmospheric profiles from radiosondes. A total of 532 cases were analyzed under all weather conditions and evidenced larger brightness temperature deviations between the two radiometers and the radiosondes for the most transparent channels. Two different retrievals for the TEMPERA radiometer were implemented in order to evaluate the effect of the different channels on the temperature retrievals. The comparison with radiosondes evidenced better results very similar to the ones from HATPRO, when the eight more opaque channels were used. The study shows the good performance of TEMPERA to retrieve temperature profiles in the troposphere. The inversion method of TEMPERA is based on the optimal estimation method. The main advantage of this algorithm is that there is no necessity for radiosonde information to achieve good results in contrast to conventional methods as neural networks or lineal regression. Finally, an assessment of the effect of instrumental characteristics as the filter response and the antenna pattern on the brightness temperature showed that they can have an important impact on the most transparent channels.

Short summary
The paper presents the assessment of the tropospheric measurements of a new temperature radiometer (TEMPERA) at 60 GHz. The temperature profiles from TEMPERA are compared with independent in situ radiosonde measurements. The TEMPERA performance is also compared with that of a commercial microwave radiometer (HATPRO). In addition, the brightness temperatures from both microwave radiometers are compared with the ones simulated using a radiative transfer model, ARTS.