Wednesday, 9 July 2014
We present a numerical testbed for remote sensing of aerosols, together with a demonstration for evaluating retrieval synergy from a geostationary satellite constellation. The testbed combines inverse (optimal-estimation) software with a forward model containing linearized code for computing particle scattering (for both spherical and non-spherical particles), a kernel-based (land and ocean) surface bi-directional reflectance facility, and a linearized radiative transfer model for polarized radiance. Calculation of gas absorption spectra uses the HITRAN database of spectroscopic line parameters and other trace species cross-sections. The outputs of the testbed include not only the Stokes 4-vector elements and their sensitivities (Jacobians) with respect to the aerosol single scattering and physical parameters (such as size and shape parameters, refractive index, and plume height), but also degrees-of-freedom-for-signal (DFS) values for retrieval of these parameters. This testbed can be used as a tool to provide an objective assessment of aerosol information content that can be retrieved for any constellation of (planned or real) satellite sensors and for any combination of algorithm design factors (in terms of wavelengths, viewing angles, radiance and/or polarization to be measured or used). We summarize the components of the testbed, including the derivation and validation of an analytical formula for Jacobian calculations. Benchmark calculations from the forward model are documented. In the context of NASA's Decadal Survey Mission GEO-CAPE (GEOstationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events), we demonstrate the use of the testbed to conduct a feasibility study of using polarization measurements in and around the O2 A band for the retrieval of aerosol height information from space, as well as an to assess potential improvement in the retrieval of aerosol fine and coarse mode aerosol optical depth (AOD) through the synergic use of two future geostationary satellites, GOES-R and TEMPO. Strong synergy between GEOS-R and TEMPO are found especially in their characterization of surface bi-directional reflectance, and thereby, can potentially improve the AOD retrieval to the accuracy required by GEO-CAPE.
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