Scientific Results

FORUM Earth Explorer 9: Characteristics of Level 2 Products and Synergies with IASI-NG

Year: 2020

Authors: Ridolfi M., Del Bianco S., Di Roma A., Castelli E., Belotti C., Dandini P., Di Natale G., Dinelli B.M., Labonnote L., Palchetti L.

Autors Affiliation: National Institute of Optics, National Research Council, 50019 Firenze, Italy; Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy; Institute for Applied Physics “Carrara”, National Research Council, 50019 Firenze, Italy; Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, 40129 Bologna, Italy; Laboratory of Atmospheric Optics, University of Lille, 59000 Lille, France

Abstract: FORUM (Far-infrared Outgoing Radiation Understanding and Monitoring) has been approved to be the ninth Earth Explorer mission of the European Space Agency. The mission is scheduled for launch on a Polar satellite in the 2025–2026 time frame. The core FORUM instrument is a Fourier Transform Spectrometer measuring, with very high accuracy, the upwelling spectral radiance, from 100 to 1600 cm^-1 (from 100 to 6.25 microns in wavelength), thus covering the Far-Infrared (FIR), and a Mid-Infrared (MIR) portion of the spectrum emitted by the Earth. FORUM will fly in loose formation with the MetOp-SG-1A satellite, hosting the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer – New Generation (IASI-NG). IASI-NG will measure only the MIR part of the upwelling atmospheric spectrum, from 645 to 2760 cm^-1 (from 15.5 to 3.62 microns in wavelength), thus, the matching FORUM measurements will supply the missing FIR complement. Together, the two missions will provide, for the first time, a spectrally resolved measurement of the full Earth emitted thermal spectrum. The calibrated spectral radiance will be, on its own, the main product of the FORUM mission, however, the radiances will also be processed up to Level 2, to determine the vertical profile of water vapour, surface spectral emissivity and cloud parameters in the case of cloudy atmospheres. In this paper we assess the performance of the FORUM Level 2 products based on clear-sky simulated retrievals and we study how the FORUM and IASI-NG matching measurements can be fused in a synergistic retrieval scheme, to provide improved Level 2 products. Considering only the measurement noise and the systematic calibration error components, we find the following figures for the synergistic FORUM and IASI-NG retrieval products. In the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere region, individual water vapour profiles can be retrieved with 1 km vertical sampling and an error ranging from 10% to 15%. In the range from 300 to 600 cm^-1 , surface spectral emissivity can be retrieved with an absolute error as small as 0.001 in dry Polar atmospheres. Ice cloud parameters such as ice water path and cloud top height can be retrieved with errors smaller than 10% and 1 km, respectively, for ice water path values ranging from 0.2 to 60 g/m^2 .

Journal/Review: REMOTE SENSING

Volume: 12      Pages from: 1496  to: 1516

KeyWords: earth radiation budget; nadir sounding; retrieval of geophysical parameters from spectral radiance measurements; far infrared
DOI: 10.3390/rs12091496