BackForwardInstrument:  AMSU-B 

Instrument details
Acronym AMSU-B
Full name Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit - B
Purpose Humidity sounding in nearly-all-weather conditions.  Also precipitation
Short description 5 channels including the 183 GHz band [see detailed characteristics below]
Background New development. Operations on NOAA-15 stopped in 2011. AMSU-B is part of the ATOVS sounding instrument suite (Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder)
Scanning Technique Cross-track: 90 steps of 16 km s.s.p., swath 2250 km - Along-track: one 16-km line every 8/3 s
Resolution 16 km IFOV
Coverage / Cycle Near-global coverage twice/day
Mass 50 kg Power 90 W Data Rate 60 kbps

 

Providing Agency UKSA
Instrument Maturity Flown on operational programme
Utilization Period: 1998-12-15 to 2014-06-09
Last update: 2017-03-29
Detailed characteristics
Central frequency (GHz) Bandwidth (MHz) Polarisation NEΔT
89.0 1000 V 0.37 K
150.0 1000 V 0.84 K
183.31 ± 7.0 2000 V 0.60 K
183.31 ± 3.0 1000 V 0.70 K
183.31 ± 1.0 500 V 1.06 K
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Earth observation instrument
  • Passive microwave radiometer
  • Cross-track, special or non-scanning microwave radiometer
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Specific humidity
Secondary mission objectives
  • Cloud ice (total column)
  • Cloud liquid water (CLW) total column
  • Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)
  • Precipitation intensity at surface (liquid or solid)
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Cloud drop effective radius5 - marginalNo specific limitation.MW channels around 90 GHz, and in 183 GHz band
Cloud ice4 - fairNo specific limitation.MW channels around 90 GHz, and in 183 GHz band
Cloud ice (total column)3 - highNo specific limitation.MW channels around 90 GHz, and in 183 GHz band
Cloud ice effective radius5 - marginalNo specific limitation.MW channels around 90 GHz, and in 183 GHz band
Cloud liquid water (CLW)5 - marginalNo specific limitation.MW channels around 90 GHz, and in 183 GHz band
Cloud liquid water (CLW) total column4 - fairNo specific limitation.MW channels around 90 GHz, and in 183 GHz band
Downward long-wave irradiance at Earth surface5 - marginalHighly indirect.MW channels in 183 GHz band to account for downward cloud radiation
Precipitation intensity at surface (liquid or solid)4 - fairNo specific limitation.MW channels in the 183 GHz band. Suitable for solid precipitation over sea and land, Insensitive to surface emissivity
Specific humidity4 - fairCoarse vertical resolution.MW channels in the 183 GHz band
Integrated Water Vapour (IWV)2 - very highNo specific limitation.MW channels in the water vapour band around 183 GHz
Upward long-wave irradiance at Earth surface5 - marginalHighly indirect.MW channels is the 183 GHz band to infer the impact of clouds on the upward LW radiation