The Miami2001 infrared radiometer calibration and intercomparison. Part II: Shipboard results

I. J. Barton, P. J. Minnett, K. A. Maillet, C. J. Donlon, S. J. Hook, A. T. Jessup, T. J. Nightingale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The second calibration and intercomparison of infrared radiometers (Miami2001) was held at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) during a workshop held from May to June 2001. The radiometers targeted in these two campaigns (laboratory-based and at-sea measurements) are those used to validate the skin sea surface temperatures and land surface temperatures derived from the measurements of imaging radiometers on earth observation satellites. These satellite instruments include those on currently operational satellites and others that will be launched within two years following the workshop. The experimental campaigns were completed in one week and included laboratory measurements using blackbody calibration targets characterized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and an intercomparison of the radiometers on a short cruise on board the R/V F. G. Walton Smith in Gulf Stream waters off the eastern coast of Florida. This paper reports on the results obtained from the shipborne measurements. Seven radiometers were mounted alongside each other on the R/V Walton Smith for an intercomparison under seagoing conditions. The ship results confirm that all radiometers are suitable for the validation of land surface temperature, and the majority are able to provide high quality data for the more difficult validation of satellite-derived sea surface temperature, contributing less than 0.1 K to the error budget of the validation. The measurements provided by two prototype instruments developed for ship-of-opportunity use confirmed their potential to provide regular reliable data for satellite-derived SST validation. Four high quality radiometers showed agreements within 0.05 K confirming that these instruments are suitable for detailed studies of the dynamics of air-sea interaction at the ocean surface as well as providing high quality validation data. The data analysis confirms the importance of including an accurate correction for reflected sky radiance when using infrared radiometers to measure SST. The results presented here also show the value of regular intercomparisons of ground-based instruments that are to be used for the validation of satellite-derived data products-products that will be an essential component of future assessments of climate change and variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-283
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Atmospheric Science


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