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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-146
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-146
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 18 Sep 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 18 Sep 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

A Fundamental climate data record of SMMR, SSM/I, and SSMIS brightness temperatures

Karsten Fennig1, Marc Schröder1, Axel Andersson2, and Rainer Hollmann1 Karsten Fennig et al.
  • 1Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach, Germany
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst, Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. The Fundamental Climate Data Record (FCDR) of Microwave Imager Radiances from the Satellite Application Facility on Climate Monitoring (CM SAF) comprises inter-calibrated and homogenised brightness temperatures from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR), the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder SSMIS radiometers. It covers the time period from October 1978 to December 2015 including all available data from the SMMR radiometer aboard Nimbus-7 and all SSM/I and SSMIS radiometers aboard the Defence Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) platforms. SMMR, SSM/I and SSMIS data are used for a variety of applications, such as analyses of the hydrological cycle, remote sensing of sea ice or as input into reanalysis projects. The improved homogenisation and inter-calibration procedure ensures the long term stability of the FCDR for climate related applications. All available raw data records from different sources have been reprocessed to a common standard, starting with the calibration of the raw Earth counts, to ensure a completely homogenised data record. The data processing accounts for several known issues with the instruments and corrects calibration anomalies due to along-scan inhomogeneity, moonlight intrusions, sunlight intrusions, and emissive reflector. Corrections for SMMR are limited because the SMMR raw data records were not available. Furthermore, the inter-calibration model incorporates a scene dependent inter-satellite bias correction and a non-linearity correction to the instrument calibration. The data files contain all available original sensor data (SMMR: Pathfinder Level 1b) and meta-data to provide a completely traceable climate data record. Inter-calibration and Earth incidence angle normalisation offsets are available as additional layers within the data files in order to keep this information transparent to the users. The data record is complemented with noise equivalent temperatures (NeΔT), quality flags, surface types, and Earth incidence angles. The FCDR together with its full documentation, including evaluation results, is freely available at: https://doi.org/10.5676/EUM_SAF_CM/FCDR_MWI/V003 (Fennig et al., 2017).

Karsten Fennig et al.
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Karsten Fennig et al.
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Fundamental Climate Data Record of Microwave Imager Radiances, Edition 3 K. Fennig, M. Schröder, and R. Hollmann https://doi.org/10.5676/EUM_SAF_CM/FCDR_MWI/V003

Karsten Fennig et al.
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Short summary
A Fundamental Climate Data Record (FCDR) from satellite borne microwave radiometers has been created, covering the time period from October 1978 to December 2015. This article describes the methods how the observations are processed, calibrated, corrected, inter-calibrated, and evaluated in order to provide a homogeneous data record of brightness temperatures across ten different instruments aboard three different satellite platforms.
A Fundamental Climate Data Record (FCDR) from satellite borne microwave radiometers has been...
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