Remote sensing of atmospheric parameters with space-based passive microwave and optical sensors matured from research experiments in the 1960’s and 1970’s to operational systems in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles can be retrieved using the infrared carbon dioxide resonances, the microwave oxygen resonances, and the water vapor resonances in both spectral bands. Superior retrievals can be obtained by combining these sensors, taking advantage of the superior ability of microwaves to penetrate many cloud types and to respond better to low temperatures and negative lapse rates, while simultaneously taking advantage of the high spatial resolution, channel count, and sensitivity of modem infared sensors, together with their reduced sensitivity to surface effects. Microwave and infrared soundings from satellites have been combined since their operational introduction in the 1970’s, and progress continues to be made. These evolving techniques are reviewed here.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Second Topical Symposium on Combined Optical-Microwave Earth and Atmosphere Sensing (1995) 3-6 "Combined microwave and optical atmospheric remote sensing techniques: a review," Second Topical Symposium on Combined Optical-Microwave Earth and Atmosphere Sensing (CO-MEAS '95). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Held in Atlanta, Georgia: April 3-6, 1995. ©1998 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE. This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. This work was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Air Force Contract F19628-95-C-0002, and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grants NAG5-10 and NAG5-2545. ISBN: 078-03-2402-1Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


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