Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy

An obvious opportunity to provide spatial context to ARM’s ground-based measurements is through satellite observations. As explained in this article from the ARM monograph, which chronicles ARM’s first 20 years, several satellite missions in recent decades have had a strong emphasis on clouds, aerosols, and radiation. For many years, ARM has collaborated with NASA to obtain measurements of cloud properties and related satellite-based parameters around ARM observatories.

ARM has also worked with specific satellite programs to use ARM measurements for the evaluation and development of satellite retrievals. Surface data from ARM and other long-term measurement networks have been used to validate satellite cloud and radiation data products from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) project. In addition, ARM continues to launch radiosondes as part of a multiyear validation effort for Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) sounding products.

When used together, ARM and satellite data can be a powerful resource for modelers. The team responsible for developing the U.S. Department of Energy’s high-resolution Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) uses ARM data to evaluate parameterizations with single-column models or cloud-resolving models, then uses satellite data to evaluate the global simulations.

Satellite Products for ARM Users

The NASA Langley Research Center provides satellite-derived cloud and radiative properties via its Satellite Cloud and Radiation Property Retrieval System (SatCORPS). These data sets are routinely derived from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites that view ARM fixed and mobile sites. The ARM-supported SatCORPS products can be used for applications such as making near-real-time flight decisions during field campaigns and providing constraints for operational ARM data products.

Currently, the SatCORPS team generates pixel-level and gridded cloud products using the Visible Infrared Solar-Infrared Split Window Technique (VISST) algorithm. They replace earlier satellite-based retrievals using a different algorithm.

In addition, ARM hosts satellite measurements and imagery collected over ARM sites by other U.S. and international agencies.

Satellite Partnerships

ARM maintains long-term relationships with satellite measurement partners such as the NOAA/NASA JPSS program and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, led by NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.

As part of activities to achieve its Decadal Vision, ARM seeks to identify additional satellite-based data products that would provide spatial context for its data. ARM also seeks to identify collaborations with satellite programs in which users would benefit from the joint application of ARM single-point measurements and satellite-based spatial information.