12th Conference on Atmospheric Radiation


CERES edition 2 ²Rev 1² calibration adjustments to compensate for short wave spectral darkening of optics

Grant Matthews, NASA/LaRC, Hampton, VA; and K. J. Priestley

Cloud's and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is an investigation into the role of clouds and radiation in the Earth's climate system. Each CERES instrument measures in three broadband radiometric regions: the shortwave (SW 0.3 - 5um), total (0.3 - >100um), and window (8 - 12um). Four CERES scanning thermistor bolometer instruments are currently in orbit. Flight model 1 (FM1) and 2 (FM2) are aboard the Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra satellite and FM3 and FM4 are aboard the EOS Aqua satellite. It has been found that both CERES instruments on the Terra platform imply that the SW flux scattered from the Earth had dropped by up to 2% from 2000 to 2004. No climatological explanation for this drop could be found, suggesting the cause was a drift in both the Terra instruments. However, the onboard calibration lamps for the SW channels do not show a change in gain of this magnitude. Experience from other satellite missions has shown that optics in the orbital environment can become contaminated, severely reducing their transmission of ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Since the calibration lamps emit little radiance in the UV spectral region it was suggested that contaminates could be responsible for an undetectable `spectral darkening' of the CERES SW channel optics and hence the apparent drop in SW flux. Most of the proposed mechanisms for contaminant build up would not apply to a CERES instrument operating in the normal cross track scan mode because the telescope never points in the ram direction to collect contaminants. Indeed it was found from the comparison between CERES instruments on both Terra and Aqua that the response of the instrument operating in rotating azimuth plane (RAPS) mode consistently dropped relative to the other cross track instrument. Since at all times one of the instruments operates in cross track mode, it allowed that unit to be used as a calibration standard from which the darkening of the other RAPS instrument can be measured. A table of adjustment coefficients to compensate for this spectral darkening have therefore been derived. These figures are designed to be multiplied by SW fluxes or radiances produced in the climate community using Edition 2 CERES data. SW CERES measurements that have been revised using these coefficients are therefore to be referred to as ERBE-like Edition2_Rev1 or SSF Edition2B_Rev1 data in future literature. Current work to fully characterize the effect of spectral darkening on the instrument spectral response before the release of Edition 3 data is also described.

Poster Session 3, Radiation Poster Session III: Earth Radiation Budget
Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 5:00 PM-7:00 PM, Grand Terrace

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