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The main passive microwave radiometers are listed below (instrument/satellite):

  • AMSR-E on Aqua
  • SSMI on DMSP F08, F10, F11, F13, F14, F15
  • SSMIS on DMSP F16, F17
  • WindSat on Coriolis
  • TMI on TRMM
  • AMSR2 / GCOM - W1



Radiometers and altimeters

 In the altimetry domain, interesting radiometers are those that are on-board altimetric missions such as JMR, MWR, AMR, Altika radiometer, etc. These microwave radiometers measure the total water vapor along the path viewed by the altimeter. In addition to measuring total water vapor, they are used for range correction and to measure brightness temperatures.

Using generally two (23.8 / 37 GHz for Altika radiometer on board SARAL) or three different frequencies (e.g.  18.7 / 23.8 / 34.0GHz for the AMR on-board OSTM/Jason-2), measurements acquired at each frequency are combined to determine atmospheric water vapor and liquid water content. Once the water content is known, it is possible to determine the correction to be applied for radar signal path delays.

Altimetry missions that operate without radiometer (e.g. Cryosat-2) can use estimation of wet tropospheric correction coming from atmospheric models.

For more information: 

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