Satellite Atmospheric Sounding Experiments—An Evolution Beginning with Nimbus-3

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Monday, 18 January 2010: 1:45 PM
B313 (GWCC)
William Smith Sr., Hampton Univ., Hampton, VA

Atmospheric sounding from Earth orbiting satellites began on April 13, 1969 with the launch of the Nimbus-3 SIRS and IRIS infrared radiance spectrometer experiments. Within weeks after launch, the Nimbus-3 demonstrated the promise of improved weather forecasts through the use of the global atmospheric sounding data. These satellite data stimulated improvements in global numerical prediction models and improvements in the satellite sounding instruments to remove the deficiencies in spatial resolution characteristic of the early Nimbus satellite devices. Today, satellite systems provide the majority of atmospheric sounding data that enables global and regional weather and climate forecasts. This presentation traces the evolution of the capability of satellite atmospheric sounding systems.