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.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited