Improvements in Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Products Based on Instrument Calibrations

Friday, 19 December 2014
Natividad Manalo Smith1, Kory Priestley2, Norman G Loeb2, Susan Thomas1, Mohan Shankar1 and Dale Walikainen1, (1)Science Sytstems and Applications, Inc, Hampton, VA, United States, (2)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States
The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) mission is instrumental in providing highly accurate radiance measurements that are critical for monitoring the Earth’s radiation budget. Two identical CERES instruments are deployed aboard NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites Terra and Aqua. Each CERES instrument consists of scanning thermistor bolometer sensors that measure broadband radiances in the shortwave (0.3 to 5 micron), total (0.3 to < 100 micron) and water vapor window (8 to 12 micron) regions. CERES instruments have the capability of scanning in either the cross-track or rotating azimuth plane (RAP) scan mode. Cross-track scanning, the primary mode of CERES operation, allows for the geographical mapping of the radiation fields while RAP scanning enables the acquisition of data over a more extensive combination of viewing configurations, needed for developing vastly improved angular distribution models used in radiance to flux conversion.

To evaluate, achieve and maintain radiometric stability, a rigorous and comprehensive radiometric calibration and validation protocol is implemented. Calibrations and validation studies have indicated spectral changes in the reflected solar spectral regions of the shortwave and total sensors. Spectral darkening is detected in the shortwave channel optics, which is more prominent while the instrument operates in RAP mode. In the absence of a climatological explanation for this darkening, this likely occurs during part of the RAP scan cycle when the scan plane is aligned with the direction of motion, making the optics more susceptible to increased UV exposure and molecular contamination. Additionally, systematic daytime-nighttime longwave top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux inconsistency was also detected during validation, which highlights the changes in the shortwave region of the total sensor.

This paper briefly describes the strategy to correct for the sensor response changes and presents the improvements in CERES Edition 4 data products, which incorporates these sensor response changes in the computation of radiances.