A Thorough Evaluation of the Passive Microwave Radiometer Measurements onboard Three Fengyun-3 Satellites


  • Microwave Radiometer Imager (MWRI) is a key payload of China’s second generation polar meteorological satellite, i.e., Fengyun-3 series (FY-3). Up to now, 5 satellites including FY-3A (2008), FY-3B (2010), FY-3C (2013), FY-3D (2018), and FY-3E (2021) have been launched successfully to provide multiwavelength, all-weather, and global data for decades. Much progress has been made on the calibration of MWRI and a recalibrated MWRI brightness temperature (BT) product (V2) was recently released. This study thoroughly evaluates the accuracy of this new product from FY-3B, 3C, and 3D by using the simultaneous collocated Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI) measurements as a reference. The results show that the mean biases (MBEs) of the BT between MWRI and GMI are generally less than 0.5 K and the root mean squares (RMSs) between them are less than 1.5 K. The previous notable ascending and descending difference of the MWRI has disappeared. This indicates that the new MWRI recalibration procedure is very effective in removing potential errors associated with the emission of the hot-load reflector. Analysis of the dependence of MBE on the latitude and earth scene temperature shows that MBE decreases with decreasing latitude over ocean. Furthermore, MBE over ocean decreases linearly with increasing scene temperature for almost all channels, whereas this does not occur over land. A linear regression fitting is then used to modify MWRI, which can reduce the MBE over ocean to be within 0.2 K. The standard deviation of error of GMI, FY-3B, and FY-3D MWRI BT data derived by using the three-cornered hat method (TCH) shows that GMI has the best overall performance over ocean except at 10.65 GHz where its standard deviation of error is slightly larger than that of FY-3D. Over land, the standard deviation of error of FY-3D is the lowest at almost all channels except at 89V. MWRI onboard FY-3 series satellites would serve as an important passive microwave radiometer member of the constellation to monitor key surface and atmospheric properties.
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