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Meteorological Satellite Applications (MSA)

Evaluation and validation of measurements of operational meteorological satellites - using advanced algorithms for objecitve analysis of images from weather satellites
Arbeit am Messmast in der Namib

The MSA research group is part of the IMK-ASF in the KIT*. We improve the evaluation of measurements of operational meteorological satellites, i.e. METEOSAT and EPS. The current main task is the validation of LST***, that are derived in the LSA-SAF**. The validation acitivites were launched in 2005 with a station in Portugal (Evora). Today we run four permanent stations in all relevant climate zones (except inner tropics) in the field of view of METEOSAT: Portugal (Evora) moderate climate with four seasons, Senegal (Dahra) with dry and rainy season, Namibia (Gobabeb) in desert climate and Namibia (RMZ-farm, Kalahari) semi-desert at 1600 m asl. These startions are currently the only permanent LST-validation stations world-wide.

A second topic is the integration of new mathematical methods and algorithms in our research. The detection and classification of clouds was improved using image segementation and context based analysis. Structures, i.e. big convective cells, could only be detected by experienced persons in an interactive manner. Now this analysis is performed in an objective manner with algorithms.

The speed of complex non-linear calculations of IR-radiance in the atmosphere was increased significantly with neural networks. Conventional forward calculations and the iterative inversion for a given dataset took about one month of CPU-time. With a neural network the same calculation is done in five minutes. Such an acceleration allows complete processing of decades of satellite data (METEOSAT, 20 years) in reasonable CPU-time. Valuable climatological datasets can be retrieved.

*Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK), Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing (ASF)
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

** Land-Surface-Analysis Satellite-Application-Facility.

*** Land-Surface-Temperature