Investigate one of the many satellite remote sensing methods that have been developed for retrieving one or more properties pertaining to the atmosphere, ocean or land. 


Atmospheric Sciences/Atmospheric Radiation

OVERVIEW: As indicated on the revised course syllabus, a component of this course will be a project designed to familiarize students with the application of atmospheric radiation transfer principles.  Some decades ago, the physics of radiation transfer itself was an important research topic, but now the main challenges are largely solved (at least according to some of the experts in this field).  The radiation transfer models in regional and global climate models are reasonably accurate now.  But the physics of radiation-particle interactions in the atmosphere, and the retrieval of atmospheric, ocean and land properties using satellite sensors, are still areas inviting rigorous research.  The latter is grounded on basic radiation transfer theory.

ASSIGNMENT: To develop a deeper understanding of atmospheric radiation transfer and its application to ongoing research, each student will investigate one of the many satellite remote sensing methods that have been developed for retrieving one or more properties pertaining to the atmosphere, ocean or land.  Ozone concentration is the main topic. Note that there can be more than one satellite retrieval method for a given retrieval product; for example, there are multiple methods for retrieving precipitation and various cloud properties.

The physics employed in these retrieval algorithms is often described in an Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) that can be found on the internet; for example, ATBDs for NASA A-Train satellites .But these retrieval algorithms are generally published in the scientific literature as well, which may be more helpful for understanding the basic physics.

To summarize, the purpose of this assignment is to understand how radiation transfer principles have been applied to yield satellite products that are of interest to the student.  The technical details of a retrieval (abundant in ATBDs) are much less important than the basic principles of radiation transfer and radiation-particle interactions.  Reports are expected to be 10 to 20 pages in length.  This is a self-learning experience intended to be fun!

 

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