Toporov, Maria ORCID: 0000-0003-2426-5815 (2021). Combining satellite observations with a virtual ground-based remote sensing network for monitoring atmospheric stability. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Atmospheric stability plays an essential role in the evolution of weather events. While the upper troposphere is sampled by satellite sensors, and in-situ sensors measure the atmospheric state close to the surface, only sporadic information from radiosondes or aircraft observations is available in the planetary boundary layer. Ground-based remote sensing offers the possibility to continuously and automatically monitor the atmospheric state in the boundary layer. Microwave radiometers (MWR) provide temporally resolved temperature and humidity profiles in the boundary layer and accurate values of integrated water vapor and liquid water path, while the DIfferential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) measures humidity profiles with high vertical and temporal resolution up to 3000 m height. Both instruments have the potential to complement satellite observations by additional information from the lowest atmospheric layers, particularly under cloudy conditions. The main objective of this work is to investigate the potential of ground-based and satellite sensors, as well as their synergy, for monitoring atmospheric stability. The first part of the study represents a neural network retrieval of stability indices, integrated water vapor, and liquid water path from simulated satellite- and ground-based measurements based on the reanalysis COSMO-REA2. The satellite-based instruments considered in the study are the currently operational Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) and the future Infrared Sounder (IRS), both in geostationary orbit, and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI), both deployed on polar orbiting satellites. Compared to the retrieval based on satellite observations, the additional ground-based MWR/DIAL measurements provide valuable improvements not only in the presence of clouds, which represent a limiting factor for infrared SEVIRI, IRS, and IASI, but also under clear sky conditions. The root-mean-square error for Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), for instance, is reduced by 24% if IRS observations are complemented by ground-based MWR measurements. The second part represents an attempt to assess the representativeness of observations of a single ground-based MWR and the impact of a network of MWR if combined with future geostationary IRS measurements. For this purpose, the reanalysis fields (150*150 km) in the western part of Germany were used to simulate MWR and IRS observations and to develop a neural network retrieval of CAPE and Lifted Index (LI). Further analysis was performed in the space of retrieved parameters CAPE and LI. The impact of additional ground-based network observations was investigated in two ways. First, using spatial statistical interpolation method, the fields of CAPE/LI retrieved from IRS observations were merged with the CAPE/LI values from MWR network taking into account the corresponding error covariance matrices of both retrievals. Within this method, the contribution of a ground-based network consisting of a varying number of radiometers (from one to 25) was shown to be significant under cloudy conditions. The second approach mimics the assimilation of satellite and ground-based observations in the space of retrieved CAPE/LI fields. Assuming the persistence of atmospheric fields for a period of six hours, the CAPE/LI fields calculated from reanalysis were taken as a first guess in an assimilation step. Observations, represented by CAPE/LI fields obtained from satellite and ground-based measurements with +6 hours delay, were assimilated by spatial interpolation. Within this method, the added value of ground-based observations, if compared to satellite contribution, is highly dependent on the current weather situation, cloudiness, and the position of ground-based instruments. For CAPE, the synergy of ground-based MWR and satellite IRS observations is essential even under clear sky conditions, since both passive sensors can not capture atmospheric profiles, needed for calculation of CAPE, with sufficient accuracy. Whereas for LI, the assimilation of observations of 25 MWR distributed in the domain is equivalent to the assimilation of horizontally resolved IRS observations, indicating that in the presence of clouds, MWR observations could replace cloud-affected IRS measurements. Within both approaches, it could be shown that the contribution of ground-based observations is more pronounced under cloudy conditions and is most valuable for the first 25 sensors located in the domain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Translated title:
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Thesis advisorLöhnert,
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-533993
Date: 2021
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Geosciences > Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology
Subjects: Earth sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Atmospheric remote sensingEnglish
Ground-based remote sensingEnglish
Satellite remote sensingEnglish
Atmospheric stabilityEnglish
Neural networksEnglish
Atmospheric profilingEnglish
Date of oral exam: 17 June 2021
NameAcademic Title
Löhnert, UlrichProf. Dr.
Neggers, RoelProf. Dr
Refereed: Yes


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