4.5 The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS): New Capabilities for Weather and Climate Study

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 4:30 PM
Ballroom G (Austin Convention Center)
William J. Blackwell, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA; and C. F. Cull, R. N. Czerwinski, R. V. Leslie, and I. A. Osaretin

The 2010 Science Plan for NASA's Science Mission Directorate articulated key objectives, including: 1) quantify the changing distributions of extreme weather events and enable improved weather prediction, 2) quantify the key reservoirs and fluxes in the global water cycle and improve models of water cycle change and fresh water availability, and 3) understand the roles of oceans, atmosphere, and ice in the climate system and improve predictive capability for future evolution. The first space-based, Nyquist-sampled cross-track microwave sounder, the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), launched on October 28, 2011, is providing atmospheric vertical profile information and unprecedented global observations of precipitation and atmospheric dynamics to improve numerical weather and climate modeling relevant to each of the three areas above. This presentation focuses on new capabilities enabled by the ATMS measurements and will include descriptions of spectrometer attributes, including spectral and spatial coverage, resolution, stability, and reliability. Comparisons with the heritage sensor, the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit, highlight several improvements in spatial coverage and resolution. Illustrations of improved performance will be demonstrated using retrievals of precipitation and combined infrared/microwave retrievals of atmospheric vertical profiles. Climate applications informed by ATMS measurements of cloud water path and upper tropospheric humidity will also be discussed.
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