Validation and Enhancement of AMSR-E Cloud and Precipitation Products

PI: Graeme L. Stephens
Institution: Colorado State University
Dept of Atmospheric Science
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1371
Phone: (970) 491-8541
FAX: (970) 491-8541

Co-investigator: Richard T. Austin (Colorado State University) EOS Team: AMSR-E

NASA EOS-PSO funding through FY02: $118,221


We propose to conduct a series of related research activities aimed at validating selected AMSR Level 2 products, namely the cloud water and precipitation products, as well as providing an opportunity to examine the connections between rainfall and cloud water. A related objective of this effort is to forge a closer working relation with the AMSR-E Validation Team and to coordinate validation activities planned for AMSR-E with the validation activities currently in planning for CloudSat. We believe that the connection between AMSR-E and CloudSat is important to establish now and that direct benefit to the AMSR-E validation activity can be realized even before the launch of CloudSat.

We specifically propose to contribute to AMSR-E validation in two areas that are noted in the AMSR-E Validation Plan as being very difficult to fulfill:

(i) We propose to introduce new observational resources to address AMSR-E evaluation/validation needs in the area of cloud liquid water.

(ii) We propose to introduce new observational resources to evaluate the effects of the hydrometeor profile on precipitation products as part of a physical validation effort.

(iii) We propose to use correlative Level 2 information derived from other Aqua sensor data, notably MODIS, to inter-compare cloud water products.

(iv) We propose to use correlative precipitation information derived from cloud radar observations to compare with AMSR-E precipitation products.
There are a number of outcomes, both short- and long-term, that we expect to achieve from the proposed research. For example, we expect to gain new insights into the transition from non-precipitating clouds to precipitating clouds and a clear understanding of how to deal with cloud and precipitation as a combined system. The precipitation validation and evaluation efforts are expected to lead towards an advanced algorithm that will integrate both CloudSat and AMSR observations together.