Comparison with LBL simulations

Comparison with LBL simulations

RTTOV-LBL comparisons for VIS/IR coefficient files

The plots linked below for each coefficient file show statistics of comparisons of RTTOV radiances with those computed from the line-by-line (LBL) calculations. All plots are for VIS/IR RTTOV coefficients based on LBLRTM v12.8. The comparisons are in terms of brightness temperature (BT) for channels with wavelengths greater than 3 microns and in terms of reflectance for channels with wavelengths less than 3 microns. Simulations are run over the diverse 83 profile set which is used to train RTTOV.

For channels with wavelengths greater than 3 microns there are three types of plot:

The first (top-left) plots compare RTTOV radiances with radiances calculated using the RTTOV integration of the radiative transfer equation (RTE) applied to the LBL channel-integrated transmittances. This gives an indication of the errors resulting from the optical depth regression and it is these differences which the coefficient training attempts to minimise. For these plots radiances are calculated for zenith angles up to ~65 degrees. The RTTOV radiances do not include Planck-weighting for these plots.

The second (top-right) plots compare RTTOV radiances (with Planck-weighting where applicable) with channel-integrated radiances computed from the LBL transmittances. The LBL transmittances are computed at a spectral resolutiuon of 0.001cm-1 on 101L, and these are interpolated onto the 54L if necessary. For non-hyperspectral sensors the transmittances are then averaged at a resolution of 0.1cm-1. The process up to this point is done as part of the coefficient generation. The RTE is solved for these transmittances using the RTTOV integration routine and the resulting radiances are integrated over the channel spectral reponses. For hyperspectral sounders this calculation is only done for nadir transmittances (for all zenith angles it would require storing an impractical quantity of data), but for all other sensors these statistics are computed for zenith angles up to ~65 degrees. These statistics give an indication of the combined error due to the optical depth regression and the use of polychromatic transmittances in the solution of the RTE.

The third (bottom-left) plots compare RTTOV radiances (with Planck-weighting where applicable) with channel-integrated radiances computed by LBLRTM assuming a pseudo-spherical atmosphere. In this case, LBLRTM is run independently of RTTOV at a spectral resolution of 0.001cm-1 and the resulting radiances are integrated over the channel spectral responses. These statistics are calculated for zenith angles up to ~65 degrees, and give an indication of the errors in RTTOV compared to the ideal situation of running the LBL model instead.

For all types of plot, the simulations include contributions from upwelling atmospheric emission and emission from a surface with unit emissivity located at the bottom level of the coefficient pressure profile (1050hPa for 54L coefficients, 1100hPa for 101L coefficients).

For channels with wavelengths less than 3 microns only the first type of plot is produced. The simulations are run for a range of satellite and solar zenith angles with a relative azimuth of 180 degrees. The simulations include contributions from atmospheric Rayleigh scattering and surface reflection assuming a surface BRDF of 0.3/pi located at the bottom level of the coefficient pressure profile (1050hPa for 54L coefficients, 1100hPa for 101L coefficients).

The plots show the average (mean), standard deviation (in some cases), RMS and maximum absolute difference between the RTTOV and LBL radiances calculated over the diverse profile set.

“7gas” (SO2-enabled) coefficients

The optical depth prediction for high (volanic) concentrations of SO2 is less accurate than for other gases. For this reason the statistics for variable SO2 (“7gas”) coefficients show significantly larger errors in the SO2 bands than is seen for other channels and fixed SO2 coefficients. It should be noted that the SO2 optical depth prediction is nevertheless fine for low (background) concentrations and the errors in this case are very similar to coefficients with fixed SO2 (see the RTTOV v13 Science and Validation Report). This should be borne in mind when evaluating the RTTOV vs LBL statistics for 7gas coefficients below. Note also that the v13 predictors exhibit more accurate SO2 optical depth prediction than the v9 predictors for high SO2 concentrations.


Hyperspectral IR sounders v13 predictors

v13 predictor 101L variable O3+CO2 v13 predictor 101L variable O3 v13 predictor 101L 7gas
v13 predictor 54L variable O3 v13 predictor 54L variable O3+CO2

Hyperspectral IR sounders v7/v8/v9 predictors

v7 predictor 101L coefficient files
IR-only, variable O3
v8 predictor 101L coefficient files
IR-only, variable O3+CO2
v9 predictor 101L coefficient files
VIS+IR, 7gas

v7 predictor 54L coefficient files
IR-only, variable O3
v8 predictor 54L coefficient files
IR-only, variable O3+CO2

Non-hyperspectral visible/IR sensors v13 predictors

v13 predictor 54L variable O3+CO2 v13 predictor 54L variable O3 v13 predictor 54L 7gas

Non-hyperspectral visible/IR sensors v7/v8/v9 predictors

v7 predictor 54L coefficient files
IR-only, variable O3
v8 predictor 54L coefficient files
IR-only, variable O3+CO2
v9 predictor 54L coefficient files
VIS+IR, variable O3+CO2 or O3

Comparisons against LBL calculations for MW v13 predictor coef files

The plots linked below for each coefficient file show statistics of comparisons of RTTOV radiances with those computed from the line-by-line (LBL) calculations. Simulations are run over the diverse 83 profile set and the six zenith angles used to train RTTOV.

In the case of MW sensors, there is not a large difference between the comparisons to radiances computed from channel-integrated LBL transmittances, and channel-integrated radiances computed from LBL transmittances. Only the former are shown here.

Comparisons against LBL calculations for MW v7 predictor coef files


The files linked below show the mean and RMS difference between brightness temperatures calculated using the LBL channel-integrated transmittances and the RTTOV predicted optical depths. The brightness temperatures are computed for nadir view (zenith angle 0 degrees) with unit surface emissivity and comprise upwelling atmospheric emission plus the surface emission term. The statistics are calculated for the 83 diverse profile set used to train RTTOV and give an indication of the error due to the optical depth regression expressed in terms of TOA brightness temperature.