Geophysical Research Letters

Validation of Aqua satellite data in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere with in situ aircraft instruments



[1] Aircraft observations from a recent campaign spanning 0–40N latitude are compared to coincident observations from satellite sensors on board the Aqua satellite of temperature, ozone, water vapor and cloud properties in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Satellite observations compare well to aircraft data; temperature is generally within ±1.5 K and water vapor is within ±25% of aircraft observations for pressures above 150 hPa and mixing ratios above ∼10 ppmv. Satellite ozone has a positive bias in the upper troposphere, and clouds observed by the aircraft are qualitatively well represented in the satellite data. These data and analyses provide critical validation of satellite observations, which promise new global insights into this region of the atmosphere.