Hyperspectral Sounding Capabilities
The NOAA-Unique Combined Atmospheric Processing System (NUCAPS) is the NOAA operational product system for four polar-orbiting satellite platforms – MetOp-A, MetOp-B, Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20. NUCAPS retrieves satellite soundings, or profiles of atmospheric temperature, moisture and other trace gases, from infrared and microwave radiance measurements. After more than 50 years of research in satellite sounding technology, NUCAPS is the first such product to become operational at the National Weather Service.
STC supports the NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Proving Ground and Risk Reduction (PGRR) program as subject matter experts on atmospheric sounding technology and NUCAPS products. PGRR is a user-engagement program that facilitates research-to-operations (R2O) and operations-to-research (O2R). It was created in 2011 to maximize the benefits of satellite data products and ensure that decision-makers have access to the right information at the right time. In their capacity, the STC team helps spearhead innovation in algorithm and product design. They also partner with operational meteorologists and scientists to develop novel product applications and improvements to maintain real-world impact with scientific relevance.
STC is developing the Community Long-term Infrared Microwave Product System (CLIMCAPS) as the new NASA standard for operational remote sounding systems. CLIMCAPS is designed to create a seamless record of satellite soundings from all modern-era microwave and hyperspectral infrared instruments. This record will start with the AIRS/AMSU instrument pair on EOS/Aqua launched in 2002 and extend across three decades by including the CrIS/ATMS instruments on Suomi-NPP (2012–present) and the JPSS series (2017–2038).
Advanced hyperspectral infrared and microwave sounding instruments measure the total integrated radiance emitted by Earth’s surface and atmosphere. Designed to be sensitive day-to-day variation in the vertical atmospheric state, the primary purpose of these instruments is to improve weather forecasting. However, with an archive spanning more than two decades already we can turn our attention to questions about long-term seasonal, annual and diurnal change on a global scale. CLIMCAPS achieves consistent high quality sounding products through adopting state of the art science and technology.