Investigation of atmospheric boundary layer temperature, turbulence, and wind parameters on the basis of passive microwave remote sensing



[1] The MTP-5, a microwave temperature profiler, has been widely used since 1991 for investigation of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). The MTP-5 is an angular scanning single-channel instrument with a central frequency of about 60 GHz, designed to provide continuous, unattended observations. It can measure the thermal emission of the atmosphere with high sensitivity (0.03 K at 1 s integration time) from different zenith angles. On the basis of this measurement, it is possible to retrieve temperature profiles at the altitude range up to 600 m, to calculate wind speed and wind direction at the lowest 250 m, and to get information about some parameters of atmospheric turbulence. This report presents some applications of the MTP-5 instrument data collected in 1998–2001 within a number of international field projects: the dynamics of ABL temperature inversion in a mountain valley (Mesoscale Alpine Program (MAP)), as well as along an island coast (north part of Sakhalin Island, Russia-Japan Project); continuous measurements of the ABL temperature profile provided from a special scientific train that crossed the territory of Russia (the Transcontinental Observations of the Chemistry of the Atmosphere Project (TROICA)); and simultaneous measurements of the ABL temperature profile provided over the central and northern part of Moscow in a continuous mode (the Global Urban Research Meteorology and Environment Project (GURME)). In 1999, two MTP-5 instruments were installed on a platform that was rotating in the azimuth direction at the 310 m Obninsk Meteorological Research Tower (Meteo Tower) to validate the method and microwave equipment for measurement of wind speed and wind direction and investigation of atmospheric turbulence. Spectral analyses of the integrated signal provided an opportunity to estimate the inertial subrange low-frequency limit and its height dependence for thermal turbulence at the lowest 200 m layer. Wavelet analysis of the signal made it possible to determine the convective thermic and other coherent structures; also to estimate energy and to provide visualization of the transformation processes of those structures during changing ABL stability. For a wide spectrum of ABL models the integrated character of radiometric data is more representative than in situ data. The measurement cycle for main wind is about 45 min, with an accuracy of about 1–2 m/s for wind speed and 10–20° for wind direction. Measurements at different levels of the Meteo Tower of vertical wind speed were in good agreement with in situ data. The possibility of manufacturing the microwave instrument for simultaneous measurements of the temperature profile and wind parameters in the ABL will be also discussed in this report.