Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-64
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model description paper
22 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
An update on the RTTOV fast radiative transfer model (currently at version 12)
Roger Saunders1, James Hocking1, Emma Turner1, Peter Rayer1, David Rundle1, Pascal Brunel2, Jerome Vidot2, Pascale Rocquet2, Marco Matricardi3, Alan Geer3, Niels Bormann3, and Cristina Lupu3 1Met Office, Fitzroy Rd., Exeter, UK
2MeteoFrance/CMS, Avenue de Lorraine, Lannion, France
3ECMWF, Shinfield Park, Reading, UK
Abstract. This paper gives an update of the RTTOV (Radiative Transfer for TOVS) fast radiative transfer model which is widely used in the satellite retrieval and data assimilation communities. RTTOV is a fast radiative transfer model for simulating top of atmosphere radiances from passive visible, infrared and microwave downward-viewing satellite radiometers. In addition to the forward model, it also optionally computes the tangent linear, adjoint and Jacobian matrix providing changes in radiances for profile variable perturbations assuming a linear relationship about a given atmospheric state. This makes it a useful tool for developing physical retrievals from satellite radiances, for direct radiance assimilation in NWP models, for simulating future instruments and for training or teaching with a graphical user interface. An overview of the RTTOV model is given highlighting the updates and increased capability of the latest versions and gives some examples of its current performance when compared with more accurate line by line radiative transfer models and a few selected observations. The improvement over the original version of the model released in 1999 is demonstrated.
Citation: Saunders, R., Hocking, J., Turner, E., Rayer, P., Rundle, D., Brunel, P., Vidot, J., Rocquet, P., Matricardi, M., Geer, A., Bormann, N., and Lupu, C.: An update on the RTTOV fast radiative transfer model (currently at version 12), Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-64, in review, 2018.
Roger Saunders et al.
Roger Saunders et al.
Roger Saunders et al.

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Short summary
This paper describes a fast atmospheric radiative transfer model, RTTOV, which is widely used in the satellite retrieval and weather forecast model assimilation communities. It computes top of atmosphere radiances for visible, infrared and microwave downward-viewing satellite radiometers. It enables the satellite data, which are a key part of the observing system, to be optimally used with forecast models. The developments made to RTTOV over the past 20 years are summarised.
This paper describes a fast atmospheric radiative transfer model, RTTOV, which is widely used in...
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