Abstract

An evaluation of two different atmospheric transmittance models is performed by using radiance data from the high-resolution infraRed Sounder (HIRS) instrument onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NOAA-9 satellite and the airborne high-resolution interferometer sounder (HIS) instrument. Synthetic radiances have been derived from collocated radiosondes by using the television infrared observation satellite (TIROS) operational vertical sounder (TOVS) operational transmittance model and the fast atmospheric signature code (FASCOD2) line-by-line transmittance model for comparison with the two independent instrument observations. Radiance observations in various spectral channels from the HIRS and HIS instruments along with the synthetic radiances derived from the FASCOD2 and operational TOVS transmittance models are used for the performance evaluation. The results of the comparison reveal a significant discrepancy between 707 and 717 cm−1 in the radiance calculation for both models. Excellent agreement is observed between observation and calculation for the lower tropospheric long-wave temperature sounding channels. Serious problems are noted with the modeling of water vapor in the operational TOVS transmittance model. In addition, poor performance by FASCOD2 is revealed for the short-wavelength N2O–CO2 HIRS spectral channels. In general the operational TOVS transmittance model is found to be only slightly inferior to the FASCOD2 model. Regarding the performance of the instruments, observations from the NOAA-9 HIRS and the aircraft HIS are comparable in terms of their agreement with theoretical computations.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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