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Mertens C.J.,NASA | Xu X.,SSAI Inc. | Wellard S.J.,Utah State University
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2011

Recent discoveries from analysis of measurements made by the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument on the Thermosphere-Ionosphere- Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite have shown that NO(v) 5.3 um emission is the primary mechanism of dissipating solar-geomagnetic storm energy in the thermosphere. Further insight into the ionosphere-thermosphere (IT) storm-time response emerged from observations and analysis of the SABER 4.3 um channel radiances, which showed that nighttime 4.3 um emission is dominated by NO+(v) during geomagnetically disturbed conditions. Analysis of SABER NO+(v) 4.3 um emission led to major advances in the understanding of E-region ion-neutral chemistry and kinetics, such as the identification of a new source of auroral 4.3 um emission, which also provides a new context for understanding auroral infrared emission from O2(a1△g). Surprisingly, NO+(v) 4.3 um emission is the second largest contribution to solar-geomagnetic infrared radiative response and provides a non-negligible contribution to the "natural thermostat" thought to be solely due to NO(v) 5.3 um emission. Despite these major advances, a fully physics-based understanding of the two largest sources of storm-time energy dissipation in the IT system from NO(v) and NO+(v) is lacking because of the limited information content contained in SABER's broadband infrared channel measurements. On the other hand, detailed information on the chemical-radiative excitation and loss processes for NO(v), NO+(v), and O2(a1△g) emission is encoded in the infrared spectrum, of which SABER only provides an integral constraint. Consequently, a prototype infrared field-wide Michelson interferometer (FWMI) is currently under development to advance the understanding of IT storm-time energetics beyond the current state of knowledge. It is anticipated that progress in the developments of the FWMI technology, along with advancements in a physics-based understanding of the fundamental chemical-radiative mechanisms responsible for IT infrared emission, will play an integral role in the future planning of a rocket-borne and satellite-based Eregion science missions. In this paper, a survey of recent SABER discoveries in IT ion-neutral coupling will be given, open questions in a physics-based understanding of chemical-radiative vibration-rotation excitation and loss from important IT infrared emitters will be identified, and the FWMI instrument requirements necessary to address these open science questions will be presented. © 2011 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Wind G.,NASA | Wind G.,SSAI Inc. | Platnick S.,NASA | King M.D.,University of Colorado at Boulder | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology | Year: 2010

Data Collection 5 processing for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra and Aqua spacecraft includes an algorithm for detecting multilayered clouds in daytime. The main objective of this algorithm is to detect multilayered cloud scenes, specifically optically thin ice cloud overlying a lower-level water cloud, that present difficulties for retrieving cloud effective radius using single-layer plane-parallel cloud models. The algorithm uses the MODIS 0.94-μm water vapor band along with CO 2 bands to obtain two above-cloud precipitable water retrievals, the difference of which, in conjunction with additional tests, provides a map of where multilayered clouds might potentially exist. The presence of a multilayered cloud results in a large difference in retrievals of above-cloud properties between the CO 2 and the 0.94-mm methods. In this paper the MODIS multilayered cloud algorithm is described, results of using the algorithm over example scenes are shown, and global statistics for multilayered clouds as observed by MODIS are discussed. A theoretical study of the algorithm behavior for simulated multilayered clouds is also given. Results are compared to two other comparable passive imager methods. A set of standard cloudy atmospheric profiles developed during the course of this investigation is also presented. The results lead to the conclusion that the MODIS multilayer cloud detection algorithm has some skill in identifying multilayered clouds with different thermodynamic phases. © 2010 American Meteorological Society.

Dong J.,EMC | Dong J.,Im System Group | Ek M.,EMC | Hall D.,NASA | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Hydrometeorology | Year: 2014

Understanding and quantifying satellite-based, remotely sensed snow cover uncertainty are critical for its successful utilization. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow cover errors have been previously recognized to be associated with factors such as cloud contamination, snowpack grain sizes, vegetation cover, and topography; however, the quantitative relationship between the retrieval errors and these factors remains elusive. Joint analysis of theMODIS fractional snow cover (FSC) from Collection 6 (C6) and in situ air temperature and snowwater equivalentmeasurements provides a unique look at the error structure of the MODIS C6 FSC products. Analysis of the MODIS FSC dataset over the period from 2000 to 2005 was undertaken over the continental United States (CONUS) with an extensive observational network. When compared to MODIS Collection 5 (C5) snow cover area, the MODIS C6 FSC product demonstrates a substantial improvement in detecting the presence of snow cover in Nevada [30% increase in probability of detection (POD)], especially in the early and late snow seasons; some improvement over California (10% POD increase); and a relatively small improvement over Colorado (2% POD increase). However, significant spatial and temporal variations in accuracy still exist, and a proxy is required to adequately predict the expected errors in MODIS C6 FSC retrievals. A relationship is demonstrated between the MODIS FSC retrieval errors and temperature over the CONUS domain, captured by a cumulative double exponential distribution function. This relationship is shown to hold for both in situ and modeled daily mean air temperature. Both of them are useful indices in filtering out the misclassification of MODIS snow cover pixels and in quantifying the errors in the MODIS C6 product for various hydrological applications. © 2014 American Meteorological Society.

Fernandez J.R.,NASA | Mertens C.J.,NASA | Bilitza D.,George Mason University | Xu X.,SSAI Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Advances in Space Research | Year: 2010

We present a new technique for improving ionospheric models of nighttime E-region electron densities under geomagnetic storm conditions using TIMED/SABER measurements of broadband 4.3 μm limb radiance. The response of E-region electron densities to geomagnetic activity is characterized by SABER-derived NO+(v) 4.3 μm Volume Emission Rates (VER). A storm-time E-region electron density correction factor is defined as the ratio of storm-enhanced NO+(v) VER to a quiet-time climatological average NO+(v) VER, which will be fit to a geomagnetic activity index in a future work. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the feasibility of our technique in two ways. One, we compare storm-to-quiet ratios of SABER-derived NO+(v) VER with storm-to-quiet ratios of electron densities measured by Incoherent Scatter Radar. Two, we demonstrate that NO+(v) VER can be parameterized by widely available geomagnetic activity indices. The storm-time correction derived from NO+(v) VER is applicable at high-latitudes. © 2010 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pagaran J.,University of Bremen | Weber M.,University of Bremen | DeLand M.T.,SSAI Inc. | Floyd L.E.,Interferometrics Inc. | Burrows J.P.,University of Bremen
Solar Physics | Year: 2011

Regular solar spectral irradiance (SSI) observations from space that simultaneously cover the UV, visible (vis), and the near-IR (NIR) spectral region began with SCIAMACHY aboard ENVISAT in August 2002. Up to now, these direct observations cover less than a decade. In order for these SSI measurements to be useful in assessing the role of the Sun in climate change, records covering more than an eleven-year solar cycle are required. By using our recently developed empirical SCIA proxy model, we reconstruct daily SSI values over several decades by using solar proxies scaled to short-term SCIAMACHY solar irradiance observations to describe decadal irradiance changes. These calculations are compared to existing solar data: the UV data from SUSIM/UARS, from the DeLand & Cebula satellite composite, and the SIP model (S2K+VUV2002); and UV-vis-IR data from the NRLSSI and SATIRE models, and SIM/SORCE measurements. The mean SSI of the latter models show good agreement (less than 5%) in the vis regions over three decades while larger disagreements (10 - 20%) are found in the UV and IR regions. Between minima and maxima of Solar Cycles 21, 22, and 23, the inferred SSI variability from the SCIA proxy is intermediate between SATIRE and NRLSSI in the UV. While the DeLand & Cebula composite provide the highest variability between solar minimum and maximum, the SIP/Solar2000 and NRLSSI models show minimum variability, which may be due to the use of a single proxy in the modeling of the irradiances. In the vis-IR spectral region, the SCIA proxy model reports lower values in the changes from solar maximum to minimum, which may be attributed to overestimations of the sunspot proxy used in modeling the SCIAMACHY irradiances. The fairly short timeseries of SIM/SORCE shows a steeper decreasing (increasing) trend in the UV (vis) than the other data during the descending phase of Solar Cycle 23. Though considered to be only provisional, the opposite trend seen in the visible SIM data challenges the validity of proxy-based linear extrapolation commonly used in reconstructing past irradiances. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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