J10.5 Enabling Observations of Ice Cloud Particle Size and Humidity Profiles in the Upper Troposphere/Lower Stratosphere from the Tropospheric Water and Cloud ICE (TWICE) Millimeter and Sub-millimeter Wavelength Radiometer Instrument for 6U-Class Satellites

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:30 AM
615 AB (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Steven C. Reising, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and P. Kangaslahti, E. Schlecht, J. Jiang, X. Bosch-Lluis, M. Ogut, Y. Goncharenko, B. Kilmer, R. Cofield, S. Padmanabhan, N. Chahat, S. T. Brown, W. Deal, A. Zamora, K. Leong, S. Shih, and G. Mei

Ice clouds cover more than 33% of Earth’s surface and play a significant role in the hydrological cycle by affecting atmospheric dynamics, precipitation and cloud processes. Global measurements of cloud ice particle size distribution and total ice water content, along with associated temperature and water vapor profiles, in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS) are critically needed to improve knowledge of the role of ice clouds in Earth’s climate, precipitation and cloud processes. Such observations will enable improvement in cloud and moisture models including precipitation forecasting. Measurements at a range of frequencies in the millimeter- and submillimeter-wave frequency range provide sensitivity to ice particle size distribution in the range of tens to hundreds of micrometers.

To perform such observations on a global basis, a new millimeter- and submillimeter-wave instrument is currently under development with mass, volume and power requirements suitable for deployment on 6U-Class satellites, also known as 6U CubeSats. The Tropospheric Water and Cloud ICE (TWICE) instrument is a wide-band millimeter- and sub-millimeter wave radiometer measuring at 15 frequencies from 118 GHz to 670 GHz. The TWICE instrument is designed to provide observations of upper tropospheric water vapor profiles, temperature profiles and ice particle size distribution in clouds on a global basis at a variety of local times. The TWICE instrument uses 25-nm InP High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) low-noise amplifier-based (LNA) receiver front-ends to provide low-noise and low-power operation in a small form factor at millimeter- and sub-millimeter-wave frequencies. TWICE radiometers will perform conical scanning to preserve the polarization basis. End-to-end calibration will be performed at all 15 frequencies once per scan by viewing both the cosmic microwave background (2.7 K) and an ambient calibration target at a known thermodynamic temperature. TWICE will meet the requirements for operation in a 6U-Class satellite with dimensions of 34 cm x 20 cm x 10 cm and mass up to 12 kg.

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