Polar Satellite Week 2012

From 5 to 9 November 2012 EUMeTrain organised with its partners an event week on polar satellite applications with a pallet of lectures from presenters from different regions in Europe, US and from Brazil. Each session containing 2 presentations takes about one hour. The recorded presentations can be reheard following the links below.

Session 1: Cloud Products and Precipitation I

Overview of Cloud Products - Steve Ackerman, University of Wisconsin, USA
Early in the history of polar orbiting satellite, imaging instruments were included to detect and classify clouds. Steve Ackerman will begin with a brief historical look at these first observations. This presentation will discuss the types of algorithms developed and applied to visible and infrared observations from the NOAA series, the two NASA EOS and the EUMETSAT MetOp platforms. Steve Ackerman will discuss areas of strength and weakness in cloud detection from these platforms and will end by exploring some climate and regional applications of the cloud analyzes from some of these cloud images.

Recording Steve Ackerman

Overview of Microwave Products - MHS, AMSU, SSMIS and Blended Total Precipitable Water and Rain Rate - Sheldon Kusselson, NOAA
Since 1992 operational NOAA satellite analysts and forecasters have used polar orbiting microwave products to complement and supplement geostationary satellite, observational and computer model data to further improve precipitation forecasts. My session will provide an overview of current SSMIS and NOAA/MetOp MHS and AMSU polar orbiting microwave products, like Total Precipitable Water (TPW) and Rain Rate (RR) and how they can be used to help enhance precipitation forecasts with an emphasis on the eastern North Atlantic Ocean into the European continent. From these different individual satellite sensors microwave TPW and RR products have come a new class of satellite product called “the blended or merged product” that will also be discussed, displayed and compared with EUMETSAT geostationary satellite imagery. A case study showing these blended/merged TPW and RR products for the February 2010 Madeira storm will also be shown.

Recording Sheldon Kusselson

Session 2: Cloud Products and Precipitation II

Nowcasting Products from Polar Orbits - Adam Dybbroe, NWCSAF/SMHI, Sweden
The EUMETSAT SAF to support Nowcasting (NWCSAF) develops two software packages, one for Geostationary imagery and one for polar satellite imagery. Both packages retrieve Cloud and other parameters relevant for Nowcasting and short range forecasting. The Polar Platform System (PPS) software package retrieves information on clouds and precipitation. The parameters/products derived are, Cloud Mask, Cloud Type, Cloud Top Temperature and Height, Precipitating Clouds, and a number of cloud microphysical parameters (e.g. liquid water path and cloud phase). The first version of PPS was released in 2004, and it was originally developed to run on local direct readout data from NOAA and Metop (AVHRR and AMSU/MHS). But recently it has been extended to run also on NPP/VIIRS data. And PPS is now also capable of running on many different data formats and services. It is currently being introduced on the EARS Network to run on NOAA19 and Metop-A. In this presentation Adam Dybbroe will give an overview of how PPS works, but the main focus will be on the parameters and products that can be derived with PPS, and how they can be used in Nowcasting applications.

Recording Adam Dybbroe

Precipitation within HydroSAF - Stefania De Angelis, HydroSAF/MeteoAM, Italy
Monitoring and measurement of precipitation from satellite is an important capability for many types of users, such as the Meteorological Services, Hydro-geological Services and the structures of civil protection. The consortium H-SAF, within EUMETSAT, has among its objectives to provide continuous operational products for instantaneous measurement of rainfall using data from microwave instruments, on-board polar satellites, in synergy with the infrared data of the geostationary satellite MSG. In addition to the production operation, the HSAF provides validation service on each product and carries out independent validation of the benefits of the novel H-SAF satellite-derived data on hydrological practical applications.

Recording Stefania De Angelis

Session 3: Winds

Applications of Satellite Derived Ocean Surface Vector Winds - Josef Sienkiewicz, NOAA, USA
Ocean surface vector winds derived from polar satellite based scatterometers (radars) allow marine forecasters to view high resolution wind fields over the global ocean. Operational forecasters first access to near real time ocean vector winds began in the early 1990s with the launch of ERS-1 and followed by ERS-2, NASA's NSCAT and QuikSCAT. Of these instruments QuikSCAT, during its ten year life span, provided a wide swath capability allowing forecasters to see entire storms in a single swath. Today, ASCAT on Metop-A, OSCAT on Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) OceanSat-2 satellite and in the near future ASCAT-B on Metop-B will continue to provide global coverage. Scatterometer winds provide forecasters a high resolution "sea" truth, give an enhanced situational awareness, the ability to assess the validity of numerical model initial conditions and short term forecasts, and the location and intensity of warning criteria winds. This talk will discuss the above issues by giving examples and also discuss how to interpret remotely sensed ocean winds.

Recording Josef Sienkiewicz

Polar Winds - Regis Borde, EUMETSAT
Atmospheric Motion Vectors (AMVs) have been derived from geostationary satellites since late seventies. In 2001, an experimental polar wind product has been developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s (CIMSS) using imagery from MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite. Filling the lack of observational data over Polar Regions this product demonstrated a global positive impact on the forecast not only over polar areas. Following the initial CIMSS developments, EUMETSAT recently started to extract polar winds from METOP AVHRR instrument. Regis Borde´s session will provide some general information about the current status of polar winds product and about its extraction. The general methodology to derive polar winds from satellite images is mainly based on the heritage used for geostationary satellites, but some specific problems had to be considered due to larger timeliness between consecutive images, to characteristics of the instruments and to specificities of polar areas atmosphere.

Recording Regis Borde

Session 4: Trace Gases and Aerosols

Ozone and minor trace gas products from GOME-2 and IASI - Nan Hao, O3MSAF/DLR, Germany
This lecture focuses on the ozone and other minor trace gas products, such as NO2 and SO2, from the GOME-2 and IASI instruments on MetOp. These products are developed in the framework of EUMETSAT’s Satellite Application Facility on Ozone and Atmospheric Chemistry Monitoring (O3M-SAF), as part of EUMETSAT’s Polar System (EPS) Ground Segment. The O3M-SAF is responsible for the algorithm development, the operational processing, dissemination and archiving of the products, as well as providing User Services. The ozone and minor trace gas products from GOME-2 and IASI are used in research of atmospheric composition, like ozone loss, dynamics, anthropogenic effects, and in applications of environmental security, like monitoring of volcanic eruptions and pollution.

Recording Nan Hao

Session 5: Atmospheric Profiles

Data assimilation of polar orbiting satellites at ECMWF - Tony McNally, ECMWF
This lecture introduces the central role played by data assimilation in Numerical Weather Prediction, Climate Reanalysis and Environmental monitoring. It will be shown that radiance observations from polar orbiting satellites are the single most influential component of the global observing network and the impact of these data on forecast quality will be demonstrated. Finally, the major scientific challenges facing the successful exploitation of satellite radiance observations will be discussed - in particular issues related to vertical resolution, cloud and precipitation contamination and systematic errors.

Recording Tony McNally

Atmospheric Soundings with AIRS and AMSU Sensors - Ralf Bennartz, University of Wisconsin, USA
High resolution infrared sounders, such as AIRS and IASI, and microwave sounders, such as AMSU, are a key element of the global satellite observing system and provide a wealth of data important for various operational applications including data assimilation and nowcasting applications. This presentation will revisit the physical basis of infrared and microwave sounding and provide an overview on the state-of-the-art of microwave and infrared soundings.

Recording Ralf Bennartz

Session 6: Ocean Applications

Tracking an Atlantic Wave Storm with Jason-2 Altimeter - Sergio Muacho, IM/IPMA, Portugal
This presentation reports on the use of significant wave height (SWH) altimetry product, derived from OSTM/Jason-2 data, during a recent wave storm in the Northeast region of the Atlantic Ocean at mid-April 2012. Altimetric measurements provide data for wave model assimilation and also support ocean forecasts. Sérgio Muacho will focus on remote-sensed observations that cover a period of one week, and track the wave storm over the Atlantic between south of Iceland and the Portuguese Continental West coast, and Biscay Gulf. This study provides a summary of this wave storm and highlights the importance of having altimetry data in ocean areas, where there is a lack of observations, especially in off-shore regions.

Recording Sergio Muacho

Use of Altimeter Data for Wave Energy Applications - Jose Candido, WavEC (Wave Energy Center), Portugal
Altimeter estimates of the significant wave height Hs are quite accurate. The assessment of the wave energy resource in deep water locations requires not only the knowledge of Hs but also of the wave period, in particular the energy period Te. Several models have been proposed in order to derive the mean zero-crossing period from the altimeter backscatter coefficient with reasonable accuracy. The attempts to establish a relation between Tz and Te revealed significant constraints. As a consequence, the exclusive use of altimeter data may be suitable only for preliminary wave energy resource assessment purposes. Additionally, given their wide geographic availability, altimeter Hs estimates are typically applied in the validation of wave model data used in wave energy resource assessment studies.

Recording Jose Candido

Session 7: Land Applications

Soil Moisture from ASCAT - Sebastian Hahn, TU-Wien, Austria
Although soil moisture represents only about 0.005% of the global water resources, it is one of the crucial variables in hydrological processes, influencing the exchange of water and energy fluxes at the land/atmosphere interface. For many environmental studies it is important to have accurate estimates of the spatial and temporal variations of soil moisture (e.g. hydrology, meteorology). Advances in satellite remote sensing have shown the potential of estimating soil moisture using various remote sensing techniques. This presentation will focus on an introduction using active and passive microwave remote sensing for the retrieval of soil moisture. In case of the active retrieval a detailed description of the semi-empirical model used for the METOP ASCAT soil moisture product will be shown step by step, especially highlighting assumptions and limitations. In the end various applications using satellite based soil moisture products will be summarised.

Recording Sebastian Hahn

Fire Risks and Burnt Areas - Lourdes Bugalho (IM/IPMA),Portugal and Renata Libonati (CPTEC/INPE), Brazil
First part:
Forest fires are one of the most devastating natural disasters that often occur in mainland Portugal during the summer, with an impact on the economy, environment and climate. The Institute of Meteorology, currently Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera) has long made efforts to provide daily information on the risk of forest fires. Currently, IPMA daily runs an index of forest fire risk based on FWI (Fire Weather Index), developed by the Canadian Forest Service. This new index, ICRIF (Indice Combinado de Risco de Incêndios Florestais ) combines FWI with the type and condition of vegetation, called structural risk, being the vegetation type based on CORINE 2000 (CLC2000) and the vegetation conditions based on daily observation of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), retrieved from the AVHRR radiometer.
Second part:
Brazilian Amazonia together with the adjacent savanna (Cerrado) presents a huge number of fire events every year. In such context, accurate information about location and extent of burned area is required and of particular interest for the scientific communities dealing with meteorological and climate models in what concerns reliable estimations of biomass burned. Accordingly, an effort has been made by the scientific community to develop thematic products of burnt areas. In such context, this presentation will provide an overview of INPE/Brazil currently efforts in monitoring burned areas. The initiative is based on the (V,W) burned index. The index uses daily reflectance obtained from the 1km MODIS Level 1B calibrated radiance from bands 2 (NIR) and 20 (MIR). An overview will be given of results obtained and operational applications will be shown.

Recording Lourdes Bugalho and Renata Linbonati

Session 8: Aerosols, Processing and Visualisation

Processing Tools - AAPP - Nigel Atkinson, NWPSAF/MetOffice, UK
The ATOVS and AVHRR Pre-processing Package (AAPP) is a tool to process sounder and imager data from the NOAA, Metop and FengYun polar orbiting satellites. It was originally developed in the late 1990s to support processing of direct broadcast data from the NOAA-POES satellites, and has since been extended to accommodate Metop (including IASI) and more recently Suomi-NPP. The package is maintained by the EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP SAF). An overview will be given of the capabilities of AAPP, including how it complements other processing packages such as IMAPP and CSPP. AAPP products include calibrated, re-mapped radiances (for NWP) and derived products such as cloud mask. Examples of the products and their uses will be shown.

Recording Nigel Atkinson

Aerosol information from the O3MSAF - Piet Stammes, O3MSAF/KNMI, Netherlands
Aerosols are small liquid or solid particles in the atmosphere, like soil dust, sulphate and nitrate droplets, organic compounds, volcanic ash, etc.. Aerosols affect weather and climate by reflection and absorption of sunlight, by affecting cloud formation and precipitation, and by reducing visibility. Satellite detection of aerosols is often difficult because of the relatively weak reflectance of aerosols as compared to clouds and the background reflection of the underlying surface. Using UV-Visible spectrometers like OMI and GOME-2, UV absorbing aerosols like biomass burning smoke, volcanic ash and desert dust can be detected, even in cloudy cases and over land surfaces. In this presentation the current and future aerosol products from GOME-2 available from the O3MSAF will be introduced.

Recording Piet Stammes

Website Tour - EUMETSAT page, NOAA pages ..., Nuno Moreira, IPMA, Portugal
In this session you will be taken on a website tour, visiting pages where polar satellite products referred during the whole EUMETRAIN Polar Satellite Week can be visualized. “Web-Visits” will naturally include EUMETSAT or NOAA pages and it will be an opportunity to make a wrap-up on the contents previously discussed...

Recording Nuno Moreira