Can SAPHIR Instrument Onboard MEGHATROPIQUES Retrieve Hydrometeors and Rainfall Characteristics ?

Friday, 19 December 2014
Jayesh M Goyal, Jayaraman Srinivasan and S K Satheesh, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
MEGHATROPIQUES (MT) is an Indo-French satellite launched in 2011 with the main intention of understanding the water cycle in the tropical region and is a part of GPM constellation. MADRAS was the primary instrument on-board MT to estimate rainfall characteristics, but unfortunately it's scanning mechanism failed obscuring the primary goal of the mission.So an attempt has been made to retrieve rainfall and different hydrometeors using other instrument SAPHIR onboard MT. The most important advantage of using MT is its orbitography which is specifically designed for tropical regions and can reach up to 6 passes per day more than any other satellite currently in orbit. Although SAPHIR is an humidity sounder with six channels centred around 183 GHz channel, it still operates in the microwave region which directly interacts with rainfall, especially wing channels and thus can pick up rainfall signatures. Initial analysis using radiative transfer models also establish this fact .To get more conclusive results using observations, SAPHIR level 1 brightness temperature (BT) data was compared with different rainfall products utilizing the benefits of each product. SAPHIR BT comparison with TRMM 3B42 for one pass clearly showed that channel 5 and 6 have a considerable sensitivity towards rainfall. Following this a huge database of more than 300000 raining pixels of spatially and temporally collocated 3B42 rainfall and corresponding SAPHIR BT for an entire month was created to include all kinds of rainfall events, to attain higher temporal resolution collocated database was also created for SAPHIR BT and rainfall from infrared sensor on geostationary satellite Kalpana 1.These databases were used to understand response of various channels of SAPHIR to different rainfall regimes . TRMM 2A12 rainfall product was also used to identify capabilities of SAPHIR to retrieve cloud and ice water path which also gave significant correlation.

Conclusively,we have shown that SAPHIR has capability to retrieve rainfall and hydrometeors and especially channel 6 has the maximum potential for it. Thus this capabilities of SAPHIR can be used to develop precipitation product in combination with other GPM satellites to get higher temporal resolution rainfall product for the world.