Microwave Radiometer for Passively and Remotely Measuring Atmospheric Water Vapor
40118 November 8, 1996
Water vapor is the most significant of greenhouse gases. It also is the most significant and highly variable atmospheric constituent in the formation of weather and the transfer of atmospheric heat. Yet, it remains one of the most poorly characterized of meteorological parameters. Radiosonde balloons remain the most common method of profiling atmospheric water vapor, despite their high cost, inaccuracy, and noncontinuous nature. There are no all-weather remote sensing technologies, in existence or in development, that can remotely profile water vapor. Other known technologies are defeated by the presence of clouds. This project will apply a new microwave technology to the profiling of atmospheric water vapor. Monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) technology will be incorporated in a prototype profiling radiometer, based on advanced hardware and mathematical inversion methods. This radiometer will be operated in parallel with radiosonde balloon releases to evaluate its performance.
Anticipated Results/Potential Commercial Applications as described by the awardee: The all weather proposed water vapor profiler has applications in weather and climate research and modeling as well as in global change. The profiler also is the missing element in a replacement system for radiosonde balloons. The National Weather Service, Federal Aviation Administration, and foreign equivalents are therefore prospective customers.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Dr. Frederick Solheim
Business Contact:Dr. Randolph Ware
2898 30th Street Boulder, CO 80301
Number of Employees: