Microwave Remote Sensing, Radiometer, Calibration, AMSR, TMI, WindSat


The removal of systematic brightness temperature (Tb) biases is necessary when producing decadal passive microwave data sets for weather and climate research. It is crucial to achieve Tb measurement consistency among all satellites in a constellation as well as to maintain sustained calibration accuracy over the lifetime of each satellite sensor. In-orbit inter-satellite radiometric calibration techniques provide a long term, group-wise solution; however, since radiometers operate at different frequencies and viewing angles, Tb normalizations are made before making intermediate comparisons of their near-simultaneous measurements. In this dissertation, a new approach is investigated to perform these normalizations from one satellite's measurements to another. It uses Taylor's series expansion around a source frequency to predict Tb of a desired frequency. The relationship between Tb's and frequencies are derived from simulations using an oceanic Radiative Transfer Model (RTM) over a wide variety of environmental conditions. The original RTM is built on oceanic radiative transfer theory. Refinements are made to the model by modifying and tuning algorithms for calculating sea surface emission, atmospheric emission and attenuations. Validations were performed with collocated WindSat measurements. This radiometric calibration approach is applied to establish an absolute brightness temperature reference using near-simultaneous pair-wise comparisons between a non-sun synchronous radiometer and two sun-synchronous polar-orbiting radiometers: the Tropical Rain Measurement Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI), WindSat (on Coriolis) and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) on Advanced Earth Observing System -II (ADEOSII), respectively. Collocated measurements between WindSat and TMI as well as between AMSR and TMI, within selected 10 weeks in 2003 for each pair, are collected, filtered and applied in the cross calibration. AMSR is calibrated to WindSat using TMI as a transfer standard. Accuracy prediction and error source analysis are discussed along with calibration results. This inter-satellite radiometric calibration approach provides technical support for NASA's Global Precipitation Mission which relies on a constellation of cooperative satellites with a variety of microwave radiometers to make global rainfall measurements.


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Graduation Date



Jones, W. Linwood


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering








Release Date

June 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)