Slant path radiative transfer for the assimilation of sounder radiances

TitleSlant path radiative transfer for the assimilation of sounder radiances
Publication TypeTechnical memorandum
Date Published2016
Secondary TitleECMWF Technical Memoranda
AuthorBormann, N

This memorandum reports on the influence of taking the slanted satellite viewing geometry better into account in the simulation and assimilation of sounding radiances. The traditional approach is to use a vertical profile extracted at the geo-location information provided with the data. The present work instead investigates using a slanted profile, extracted from model fields along the instrument’s line of sight.

Taking the viewing geometry better into account leads to significant improvements in the simulation of brightness temperatures from model fields compared to the traditional approach. This is particularly noticeable for larger zenith angles, for channels that peak in the upper troposphere or higher, and for high and mid-latitudes. The finding also suggests that the model fields capture useful information on horizontal gradients, at least on the relevant spatial scales. The improved simulations of the sounder radiances lead to significant reductions in the size of the analysis increments at mid and high latitudes and particularly in the stratosphere during the assimilation. The system shows a statistically improved self-consistency out to the day-3 forecast range.

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