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An efficient method for computing atmospheric radiances in clear-sky and cloudy...

Chen, X., H. Wei, P. Yang, Z. Jin, and B. A. Baum (2011), An efficient method for computing atmospheric radiances in clear-sky and cloudy conditions, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 112, 109-118, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2010.08.013.

A computationally efficient method is developed to simulate the radiances in a scattering and absorbing atmosphere along an arbitrary path in the spectral region ranging from visible to far-infrared with a spectral resolution of 1 cm -1. For a given spectral region, the method is based on fitting radiances pre-calculated from the discrete ordinate radiative transfer (DISORT) at several wavenumbers. Radiances at other wavenumbers are interpolated based on the pre-computed total absorption and scattering optical thicknesses and the surface albedo. The computational efficiency and accuracy of the method are tested in comparison with rigorous simulations for various scenarios under the same conditions. For both clear-sky and cloud atmospheres, the present method is at least 140 times faster than the direct application of DISORT. Across the spectral range, the standard relative differences between the new method and the DISORT are less than 2% for clear-sky conditions. Root-mean-square (RMS) differences of the top of the atmosphere (TOA) brightness temperatures between the new method and DISORT, for atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS) channels over clear-sky, ice cloudy and water cloudy skies, are within the noise equivalent differential temperature (NEDT) of the AIRS sensor. The fast method is also applied to simulations of the spectral downwelling radiance measured by the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) interferometer, and to the simulations of the AIRS upwelling radiances under clear-sky and cloudy conditions.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)