A New Marine Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI) for Shipboard Atmospheric and Oceanic Observations

Friday, 19 December 2014
P Jonathan Gero1, Robert O Knuteson1, Denny Hackel1, Fred A Best1, Ray Garcia1, Coda Phillips1, Henry E Revercomb1, William L Smith1, Eric Verret2, Stephane M Lantagne2 and Claude B Roy2, (1)University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States, (2)ABB Ltd., Quebec, QC, Canada
A new ship-based Fourier transform spectrometer has been developed to measure the atmospheric downwelling and reflected infrared radiance spectrum at the Earth's surface with high absolute accuracy. This instrument was designed and built by ABB (Québec, Canada) based on the heritage of the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) designed by the University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center (UW-SSEC) for the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. Prior versions of the M-AERI have been operated by the University of Miami for over a decade on research ships transiting the Atlantic and Pacific in support of NASA and NOAA satellite validation.

The M-AERI measures infrared radiance between 520-3020 cm-1 (3.3-19 μm), at a resolution of 1 cm-1, using two detectors cooled to cryogenic temperatures with a Stirling cycle cooler. A gold-coated rotating scene mirror allows the M-AERI to selectively view the atmospheric scene at zenith, and ocean/atmospheric scenes over a range of +/- 45° from the horizon. The AERI uses two high-emissivity blackbodies for radiometric calibration, which in conjunction with the instrument design and a suite of rigorous laboratory diagnostics, ensures the radiometric accuracy to be better than 1% (3σ) of the ambient radiance.

The M-AERI radiance spectra can be used to retrieve profiles of temperature and water vapor in the troposphere, as well as measurements of trace gases, cloud properties, and ocean skin temperature. The M-AERI measurement of ocean skin temperature has a demonstrated accuracy of better than 0.1 K.

The first marine deployment of the new M-AERI will be as part of the second ARM mobile facility (AMF-2) during the ARM Cloud Aerosol Precipitation Experiment (ACAPEX) on board the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown in early 2015, occurring jointly with the NOAA CalWater 2 experiment. This field campaign aims to improve understanding and modeling of large-scale dynamics and cloud and precipitation processes associated with atmospheric rivers and aerosol-cloud interactions that influence precipitation variability and extremes in the western United States.