Cloud ice properties and processes play fundamental roles in atmospheric radiation and precipitation. Limited knowledge and poor representation of clouds in global climate models have led to large uncertainties about cloud feedback processes under climate change. Ice clouds have been used as a tuning parameter in the models to force agreement with observations of the radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere, and precipitation at the bottom. The lack of ice cloud measurements has left the cloud processes at intermediate altitudes unconstrained. Millimeter (mm) and submillimeter (submm)-wave radiometry is widely recognized for its potential to fill the cloud measurement gap in the middle and upper troposphere. Analyses have shown that channels from 183900 GHz offer good sensitivity to ice cloud scattering and can provide ice water path (IWP) products to an accuracy of 25 by simultaneously retrieving ice particle size (Dme) and IWP. Therefore, it is highly desirable to develop a cost-effective, compact mm/submm-wave instrument for cloud observations that can be deployed on future small satellites.This paper presents a conceptual study for a mm/submm-wave instrument for multispectral measurements of ice clouds. It discusses previous work at these frequencies by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the current instrument study, as well as receiver architectures and their anticipated performance. And finally, it describes a microsatellite prototype intended for use with this mm/submm-wave instrument.
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing; Instrumentation and Photography; Meteorology and Climatology
Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing (CSRS); Jul 13, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014; Quebec, QC; Canada|International Geoscience Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS); Jul 13, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014; Quebec, QC; Canada