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Open AccessArticle

Creating a Consistent Multi-Decadal Oceanic TRMM-GPM Brightness Temperature Record with Estimated Calibration Uncertainty

1
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240, USA
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli8020031
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 10 February 2020
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Precipitation Measurement Missions (PMMs) include two earth satellite missions, namely, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM, 19972015) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM, 2014present). To generate a consistent multi-decadal brightness temperature (Tb) record that spans the TRMM and GPM eras, it is highly desirable to perform a comprehensive intercalibration of the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI) Tb measurements. Unfortunately, GMI and TMI share a limited common operational period of only 13 months. Fortunately, the WindSat polarimetric radiometer (2003present) has been shown to be well calibrated and radiometrically stable relative to TMI for a period of over 5 years. Therefore, this paper describes the use of overlapping WindSat Tb measurements as the calibration bridge to achieve a seamless transfer joining the TMI and GMI Tb time series. Also, the development of the Tb measurement uncertainty estimation model is presented, which incorporates all relevant sources of uncertainty. Afterwards, this model was applied to three intercalibration processes: TMI to GMI, TMI to WindSat, and WindSat to GMI, and results are presented that quantify the corresponding Tb channel measurements biases and associated uncertainties associated with the merged TMIGMI Tb record. This is an important accomplishment because this study can enable improved future Earth Science and global climate change investigations by making a long-term Tb record with estimated uncertainty available.
Keywords: GPM; TRMM; WindSat; inter-calibration; uncertainty GPM; TRMM; WindSat; inter-calibration; uncertainty
MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, R.; Jones, W.L. Creating a Consistent Multi-Decadal Oceanic TRMM-GPM Brightness Temperature Record with Estimated Calibration Uncertainty. Climate 2020, 8, 31.

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