J29.4 A Compact Microwave Temperature and Humidity Sounder—Microwave CubeSat Sounder

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 11:15 AM
Room 9AB (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Marian Klein, Boulder Environmental Sciences and Technology, Boulder, CO; and C. Dunlap, T. Hohman, Z. Wang, and K. Ramsdale

Passive microwave radiometers have been used for Earth Observations since the late 1960s. Radiometric data from Low Earth Orbit provides high resolution and persistent observations of the Earth’s atmosphere and its surface. The unique information gathered is then used as a valuable input data into numerical weather prediction models.

The recent progress of nano satellites, CubeSats, technology and advances in microwave radiometer receivers’ integration allow a design of a compact, low weight, high performing radiometers for Earth Observations.

Boulder Environmental Sciences and Technology is developing a new class of radiometric receivers with a direct-detection architecture for airborne, ground based and space borne applications. This architecture enables a higher level of integration, lowers the power consumption, and is well suited for mass production. In addition, the receiver sensitivity, reliability, and stability is improved. Two internal calibration standards are used to enable continuous gain and offset monitoring.

The proposed CubeSat configuration offers the following technological improvements in comparison with the current state of the art:

  • dual polarization observations without polarization mixing - true horizontal and vertical brightness temperature data are provided
  • continuous calibration and scene observation without interruptions
  • low mass, size and low power consumption

We will present a conceptual design of a microwave temperature and humidity sounder with channels similar to the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder satellite, spanning frequencies between 23 and 200 GHz. In addition, the 12U Microwave CubeSat Sounder (MCS) ground resolution is better than it is for its much larger predecessor, such as AMSU-A or ATMS.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner