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Average Path Profile of Atmospheric Temperature and Humidity Structure Parameters from a Microwave Profiling Radiometer
Robert Manning
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

Published: 15 July 2016 by MDPI AG in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Atmospheric Sciences in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Atmospheric Sciences session Atmospheric Physics
MDPI AG, 10.3390/ecas2016-A001

The values of the key atmospheric turbulence parameters (structure constants) for temperature and water vapor, i.e., CT2, and CQ2, are highly dependent upon the vertical height within the atmosphere thus making it necessary to specify profiles of these values along the atmospheric propagation path. The remote sensing method suggested and described in this work makes use of a rapidly integrating microwave profiling radiometer to capture profiles of temperature and humidity through the atmosphere. The integration times of currently available profiling radiometers are such that they are approaching the temporal intervals over which one can possibly make meaningful assessments of these key atmospheric parameters. These integration times, coupled with the boundary effects of the Earth’s surface are, however, unconventional for turbulence characterization; the classical Kolmogorov turbulence theory and related 2/3 law for structure functions prevalent in the inertial sub-range are no longer appropriate. An alternative to this classical approach is derived from first principles to account for the nuances of turbulent mechanics met with using radiometer sensing, i.e., the large-scale turbulence driven by the various possible boundary conditions within the buoyancy sub-range. Analytical expressions connecting the measured structure functions to the corresponding structure parameters are obtained. The theory is then applied to an experimental scenario involving radiometric profile measurements of temperature and shows very good results.

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