Measurements of atmospheric water vapor with microwave radiometry
Journal article, 1982
A dual-channel, ground-based microwave radiometer, working at the frequencies 21.0 and 31.4 GHz, an infrared spectral hygrometer, and radiosondes have been used for comparative measurements of the integrated amount of precipitable water vapor in the atmosphere over a period with zenith water vapor contents varying between 6 and 26 mm. The microwave radiometer was found to give comparable or better formal accuracy than the radiosondes, the absolute accuracy of which is believed to be about 1 mm. The rms difference of the integrated amount of water vapor in the zenith direction measured with the microwave radiometer and with radiosondes was 1.2 mm for all data, and 0.8 mm for a selected group of good weather data. These are lower formal errors than previously reported. It is shown that the simplified relation between the radiometer antenna termperatures and the integrated amount of water vapor in this case contributes with a formal error of about 0.3 mm. It is suggested that mean ground weather data can be used to adapt this relation to other sites and seasons.