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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 21 Jan 2019

Development and technical paper | 21 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

RTTOV-gb v1.0 – Updates on sensors, absorption models, uncertainty, and availability

Domenico Cimini1,2, James Hocking3, Francesco De Angelis2, Angela Cersosimo1, Francesco Di Paola1, Donatello Gallucci1, Sabrina Gentile1, Edoardo Geraldi1, Salvatore Larosa1, Saverio Nilo1, Filomena Romano1, Elisabetta Ricciardelli1, Ermann Ripepi1, Mariassunta Viggiano1, Lorenzo Luini4, Carlo Riva4, Frank S. Marzano5,2, Pauline Martinet6, Yun Young Song7, Myoung Hwan Ahn7, and Philip W. Rosenkranz8 Domenico Cimini et al.
  • 1National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, Potenza, 85050, Italy
  • 2Center of Excellence CETEMPS, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, 67100, Italy
  • 3MET OFFICE, Exeter, UK
  • 4DEIB – Politecnico di Milano, IEIIT – CNR, Milano, Italy
  • 5University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  • 6CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 7School of Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 8Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA

Abstract. This paper describes the first official release (v1.0) of RTTOV-gb. RTTOV-gb is a FORTRAN 90 code developed by adapting the atmospheric radiative transfer code RTTOV, focused on satellite observing geometry, to the ground-based observing geometry. RTTOV-gb is designed to simulate ground-based upward-looking microwave radiometer (MWR) observations of atmospheric downwelling natural radiation in the frequency range from 22 to 150 GHz. Given an atmospheric profile of temperature, water vapour and, optionally, cloud liquid water content, and together with a viewing geometry, RTTOV-gb computes the bottom of atmosphere radiances and brightness temperatures in each of the channels of the sensor being simulated. In addition, it provides the sensitivity of observations to the atmospheric thermodynamical state, i.e. the Jacobians. Therefeore, RTTOV-gb represents the forward model needed to assimilate ground-based MWR data into numerical weather prediction models, which is currently pursued internationally by several weather services. RTTOV-gb is fully described in a previous paper (De Angelis et al., 2016), while several updates are described here. In particular, two new MWR types and a new parameterization for atmospheric absorption model have been introduced since the first paper. In addition, estimates of the uncertainty associated with the absorption model and with the fast parameterization are given here. Brightness temperatures (TB) computed with RTTOV-gb v1.0 from radiosonde profiles have been compared with ground-based MWR observations at six channels (23.8, 31.4, 72.5, 83.5, 90.0, and 150.0 GHz). The comparison shows statistics within the expected accuracy. RTTOV-gb is now available to licensed users free of charge from the Numerical Weather Prediction Satellite Application Facility (NWP SAF) website, after registration. Coefficients for four MWR instrument types and two absorption model flavors are also freely available from the RTTOV-gb support website.

Domenico Cimini et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 27 Mar 2019)
Status: open (until 27 Mar 2019)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Domenico Cimini et al.
Model code and software

Line-by-line microwave radiative transfer (non-scattering) P. W. Rosenkranz

Domenico Cimini et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The fast radiative transfer model RTTOV-gb was developed to foster ground-based microwave radiometer data assimilation into numerical weather prediction models, as introduced in a companion paper ( Here we present the updates and new features of the current version (v1.0), which is freely accessible online.
The fast radiative transfer model RTTOV-gb was developed to foster ground-based microwave...