10 May 2023
 | 10 May 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) polarization characteristics and correction algorithm

Haklim Choi, Xiong Liu, Ukkyo Jeong, Heesung Chong, Jhoon Kim, Myung Hwan Ahn, Dai Ho Ko, Dong-won Lee, Kyung-Jung Moon, and Kwang-Mog Lee

Abstract. The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) is the first geostationary earth orbit (GEO) environmental instrument, onboard the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite–2B (GEO-KOMPSAT-2B) launched on 19 February 2020, and is measuring reflected radiance from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere system in the range of 300 to 500 nm in the ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) region. The radiometric response of a satellite sensor that measures the UV-Vis wavelength region can depend on the polarization states of the incoming light. To reduce the sensitivity due to polarization, many current low earth orbit (LEO) satellites are equipped with a scrambler to depolarize the signals or a polarization measurement device (PMD) that simultaneously measures the polarization state of the atmosphere, then utilizes it for a polarization correction. However, a novel polarization correction algorithm is required since GEMS does not have a scrambler or a PMD. Therefore, this study aims to improve the radiometric accuracy of GEMS by developing a polarization correction algorithm optimized for GEMS that simultaneously considers the atmosphere's polarization state and the instrument's polarization sensitivity characteristics. The polarization factor and angle were derived by the preflight test on the ground as a function of wavelengths, showing a polarization sensitivity of more than 2 % at some specific wavelengths. The polarization states of the atmosphere are configured as a look-up table (LUT) using the Vector Linearized Discrete Ordinate Radiative-Transfer model (VLIDORT). Depending on the observation geometry and atmospheric conditions, the observed radiance spectrum can be included with a polarization error of up to 2 %. The performance of the proposed GEMS polarization algorithm was assessed using synthetic data, and the errors due to polarization were found to be larger in clear regions than in cloudy regions. After the polarization correction, polarization errors were reduced close to zero for almost all wavelengths, including a high peak and curvature of polarization error, which sufficiently demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed polarization correction algorithm. From the actual observation data after the launch of GEMS, the diurnal variation for the spatial distribution of polarization error was confirmed to be minimum at noon and maximum at sunrise/sunset. This can be used to improve the quality of GEMS measurements, the first geostationary environmental satellite, and then contribute to the retrieved accuracy of various Level 2 products (hereafter, L2), such as trace gases and aerosols in the atmosphere.

Haklim Choi et al.

Status: open (until 29 Jun 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-92', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 May 2023 reply

Haklim Choi et al.

Haklim Choi et al.


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Short summary
GEMS is the first geostationary satellite to measure the UV-Vis region, and this paper report the polarization characteristics of GEMS and an algorithm. We develop a polarization correction algorithm optimized for GEMS based on look-up table approach that simultaneously considers the polarization of incoming light and the polarization sensitivity characteristics of the instrument. Pre-launch polarization error was adjusted close to zero across the spectral range after polarization correction.