Improving thermodynamic profile retrievals from microwave ; radiometers by including Radio Acoustic Sounding System (RASS) ; observations Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. Thermodynamic profiles are often retrieved from the multi-wavelength brightness temperature observations made by microwave radiometers (MWRs) using regression methods (linear, quadratic approaches), artificial intelligence (neural networks), or physical-iterative methods. Regression and neural network methods are tuned to mean conditions derived from a climatological dataset of thermodynamic profiles collected nearby. In contrast, physical-iterative retrievals use a radiative transfer model starting from a climatologically reasonable value of temperature and water vapor, with the model run iteratively until the derived brightness temperatures match those observed by the MWR within a specified uncertainty. In this study, a physical-iterative approach is used to retrieve temperature and humidity profiles from data collected during XPIA (eXperimental Planetary boundary layer Instrument Assessment), a field campaign held from March to May 2015 at NOAA's Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) facility. During the campaign, several passive and active remote sensing instruments as well as in-situ platforms were deployed and evaluated to determine their suitability for the verification and validation of meteorological processes. Among the deployed remote sensing instruments was a multi-channel MWR, as well as two radio acoustic sounding systems (RASS), associated with 915-MHz and 449-MHz wind profiling radars. Having the possibility to combine the information provided by the MWR and RASS systems, in this study the physical-iterative approach is tested with different observational inputs: first using data from surface sensors and the MWR in different configurations, and then including data from the RASSs. These temperature retrievals are also compared to those derived by a neural network method, assessing their relative accuracy against 58 co-located radiosonde profiles. Results show that the combination of the MWR and RASS observations in the physical-iterative approach allows for a more accurate characterization of low-level temperature inversions, and that these retrieved temperature profiles match the radiosonde observations better than all other approaches, including the neural network, in the atmospheric layer between the surface and 5 km AGL. Specifically, in this layer of the atmosphere, both root mean square errors and standard deviations of the difference between radiosonde and retrievals that combine MWR and RASS are improved by ~0.5 °C compared to the other methods. Pearson correlation coefficients are also improved.;

publication date

  • January 29, 2021

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • June 3, 2021 9:37 AM

Full Author List

  • Djalalova IV; Turner DD; Bianco L; Wilczak JM; Duncan J; Adler B; Gottas D

author count

  • 7

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