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Data Set ID:
NSIDC-0630

MEaSUREs Calibrated Enhanced-Resolution Passive Microwave Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature ESDR, Version 1

This data set, part of the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program, is an improved, enhanced-resolution, gridded passive microwave Earth System Data Record (ESDR) for monitoring cryospheric and hydrologic time series from SMMR, SSM/I-SSMIS and AMSR-E. The Calibrated Passive Microwave Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 (CETB) gridded data use the most mature available Level 2 satellite passive microwave records from 1978 to the present.

Geographic Coverage

Parameter(s):
  • Microwave > Brightness Temperature
Spatial Coverage:
  • N: 90, S: -90, E: 180, W: -180

Spatial Resolution:
  • 3.125 km to 25 km
Temporal Coverage:
  • 25 October 1978 to 1 July 2016
Temporal Resolution: 12 hour
Data Format(s):
  • NetCDF
Platform(s) AQUA, DMSP 5D-2/F10, DMSP 5D-2/F11, DMSP 5D-2/F13, DMSP 5D-2/F14, DMSP 5D-2/F8, DMSP 5D-3/F15, DMSP 5D-3/F16, DMSP 5D-3/F17, DMSP 5D-3/F18, DMSP 5D-3/F19, Nimbus-7
Sensor(s): AMSR-E, SMMR, SSM/I, SSMIS
Version: V1
Data Contributor(s): Mary Brodzik, David Long, Molly Hardman, Aaron Paget, Richard Armstrong
Data Citation

As a condition of using these data, you must cite the use of this data set using the following citation. For more information, see our Use and Copyright Web page.

Brodzik, M. J., D. G. Long, M. A. Hardman, A. Paget, and R. Armstrong. 2016. MEaSUREs Calibrated Enhanced-Resolution Passive Microwave Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature ESDR, Version 1. [Indicate subset used]. Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/MEASURES/CRYOSPHERE/NSIDC-0630.001. [Date Accessed].

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Detailed Data Description

The Calibrated Enhanced Resolution Brightness Temperature (CETB) data set consists of gridded passive microwave brightness temperature data from the following instruments:

The data are a new, multi-sensor Level 3 Earth Science Data Record (ESDR) with recently released improvements in cross-sensor calibration and quality checking, modern file formats, better quality control, improved projection grids, and local time-of-day (ltod) processing. These data are gridded to the EASE-Grid 2.0 definition and include enhanced-resolution imagery, as well as coarse-resolution, averaged imagery.

Note: The data are being released in stages starting with AMSR-E in Fall 2016, followed by SSM/I and SSMIS data, with SMMR data released in 2017.
Format

The data are in NetCDF (.nc) format, using CF 1.6 (Climate and Forecast) and ACDD 1.3 (Attribute Conventions for Dataset Discovery) metadata conventions.

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File Naming Convention

Following is the file naming convention for this data set (Table 1) with an example file name.

Example: NSIDC-0630-EASE2_N3.125km-F08_SSMI-1987304-37H-M-SIR-RSS-v1.0.nc

NSIDC-0630-EASE2_XXXXXkm-platform_sensor-yyyyddd-channel-pass-algorithm-input-version.nc

Variable Description Values
Table 1. File Name Variables
NSIDC-0630 NSIDC unique data set identifier NSIDC-0630
EASE2_XXXXXkm EASE2-Grid 2.0 projection and grid resolution of data in the file

Name = EASE2
Grid = Northern (N), Southern (S), or Temperate & Tropical (T)
Grid resolution (in km) = ranges from 25 to 3.125

platform_sensor Satellite platform id and sensor NIMBUS7_SMMR
F08_SSMI
F10_SSMI
F11_SSMI
F13_SSMI
F14_SSMI
F15_SSMI
AQUA_AMSR-E
F16_SSMIS
F17_SSMIS
F18_SSMIS
F19_SSMIS
yyyyddd Reference day 4-digit year, 3-digit day of year
channel Channel ID (frequency and polarization - horizontal (H) or vertical (V)) 2-digit frequency and 1-letter polarization, differs by sensor, e.g. 37H
pass The direction or local time of day of the satellite passes used 1-letter code:
A = Ascending (T grids only)
D = Descending (T grids only)
M = Morning ltod (N or S grids only)
E = Evening ltod (N or S grids only)
algorithm Specifies the algorithm used for the image reconstruction GRD = drop-in-the-bucket (25 km grids)
SIR = radiometer version of Scatterometer Image Reconstruction (enhanced-resolution grids)
input Input data producer CSU = Colorado State University
RSS = Remote Sensing Systems
version Data set version number vX.X for major/minor versions
nc NetCDF data formatting suffix .nc
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File Size

The daily AMSR-E, F8/SSM/I, F10/SSMI, F11/SSM/I, F13/SSM/I, F14/SSM/I, F15/SSM/I, F16/SSMIS, F17/SSMIS, F18/SSMIS, F19/SSMIS, and SMMR file sizes range from 4.076 MB to 106.7 MB. A full day of data ranges in size from 230.52 MB to 11.62 GB, with an average of 4.76 GB per day. The data are packed in the NetCDF file with the packing information stored with each variable within the file.

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Volume

The total volume for the AMSR-E, F8/SSM/I, F10/SSM/I, F11/SSM/I, F13/SSM/I, F14/SSM/I, F15/SSM/I, F16/SSMIS, F17/SSMIS, F18/SSMIS, F19/SSMIS, and SMMR data is 64.054 TB.

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Spatial Coverage

Each data file contains data on one of three EASE-Grid 2.0 spatial coverages: Northern Hemisphere Lambert azimuthal equal-area, Southern Hemisphere Lambert azimuthal equal-area, or cylindrical equal-area projection (bounded by +/- 67° latitude).

Spatial Resolution

Each channel is processed at conventional (25 km) and enhanced resolutions depending on frequency. The coarsest grid resolution is 25 km, with enhanced-resolution grids defined in a nested fashion in powers of 2, at 12.5, 6.25 and 3.125 km (see Figure 1.) (Brodzik and Long, 2016). The expected level of resolution enhancement for the CETB products is channel-dependent, at best 3.125 km (Long and Brodzik, 2016).

Figure 1. EASE-Grid 2.0 nesting relationship for 25 km and 12.5 km azimuthal grids at the pole. All CETB grids are nested analogously.

Projection and Grid Description

The data are gridded to EASE-Grid 2.0 projections, at various coverages and spatial resolutions as defined in Table 2. All channels are gridded to 25 km and the higher resolutions depend on channel frequency as follows: frequencies below 12 GHz are at 12.5 km, between 12 and 30 GHz, the resolution is 6.25 km, and above 30 GHz, the enhanced-resolution is at 3.125 km.

Name Projection Resolution (km) Columns Rows

Latitude Extent (degrees)

Longitude Extent (degrees)
Table 2. CETB EASE-Grid 2.0 Projections and Grid Dimensions
EASE2_N25km Northern Lambert Azimuthal 25 720 720 0 - 90 -180 - 180
EASE2_N12.5km Northern Lambert Azimuthal 12.5 1440 1440 0 - 90 -180 - 180
EASE2_N6.25km Northern Lambert Azimuthal 6.25 2880 2880 0 - 90 -180 - 180
EASE2_N3.125km Northern Lambert Azimuthal 3.125 5760 5760 0 - 90 -180 - 180
EASE2_S25km Southern Lambert Azimuthal 25 720 720 -90 - 0 -180 - 180
EASE2_S12.5km Southern Lambert Azimuthal 12.5 1440 1440 -90 - 0 -180 - 180
EASE2_S6.25km Southern Lambert Azimuthal 6.25 2880 2880 -90 - 0 -180 - 180
EASE2_S3.125km Southern Lambert Azimuthal 3.125 5760 5760 -90 - 0 -180 - 180
EASE2_T25km Cylindrical Equal-Area 25.02526 1388 540 +/-67.0575406 -180 - 180
EASE2_T12.5km Cylindrical Equal-Area 12.51263 2776 1080 +/-67.0575406 -180 - 180
EASE2_T6.25km Cylindrical Equal-Area 6.256315 5552 2160 +/-67.0575406 -180 - 180
EASE2_T3.125km Cylindrical Equal-Area 3.128.15750 11104 4320 +/-67.0575406 -180 - 180
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Temporal Coverage

Temporal coverage varies by sensor. See Table 3 for the actual coverages.

Sensor Platform Begin Coverage End Coverage
Table 3. Temporal Coverage by Sensor
AMSR-E AQUA 01 June 2002 04 October 2011
SSM/I F08
F10
F11
F13
F14
F15
07 September 1987
08 December 1990
03 December 1991
03 May 1995
07 May 1997
23 February 2000
31 December 1991
14 November 1997
16 May 2000
19 November 2009
23 August 2008
30 June 2016
SSMIS F16
F17
F18
F19
01 November 2005
01 March 2006
08 March 2010
27 November 2014
01 July 2016
01 July 2016
30 June 2016
09 February 2016
SMMR Nimbus 25 October 1978 20 August 1987

Temporal Resolution

The grids are produced twice daily. T grids are separated by ascending/descending passes, and N and S grids are separated by local time of day.

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Parameter or Variable

The parameters for this data set are listed in Table 4.

Parameter Description Fill Value Missing Value
Table 4. Parameters
TB Brightness temperature 0.0 600.00
TB_time Average time of the measurements used to derive TB -32768 Not used
TB_std_dev Standard deviation of the measurements used to derive TB 655.35 655.34 (only used when TB is set to missing value)
TB_num_samples Number of measurements used to derive TB 0 Not used
Incidence_angle Average incidence angle of the measurements used to derive TB -0.01 (°) Not used

Parameter Description

Brightness temperature depends on the emissivity and physical temperature of the observed target and varies with the frequency and polarization of the passive microwave sensors. The relationship between the measured brightness temperature and the effective physical temperature of the observed target is described by the Rayleigh-Jeans approximation of Planck's equation.

Sample Data Record

Figures 2-4 are examples of AMSR-E data from 27 September 2011. There is one image per grid (Southern, Temperate & Tropical, and Northern): two images (Southern and Northern) are at a spatial resolution of 3.125 km, and the Temperate & Tropical image is at 6.25 km.

Figure 2. Southern Grid at 3.25 km Enhanced Resolution

Figure 3. Temperate & Tropical Grid at 6.25 km
Figure 4. Northern Grid at 3.125 km Enhanced Resolution
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Software and Tools

Data Access Tools

For a list of resources for accessing NetCDF files, see NetCDF Software Tools. Geolocation files for this data set are NetCDF (.nc) files and are located here: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/pub/tools/easegrid2/.  File names indicate the grids for each file: Northern (N), Southern (S), or Temperate & Tropical (T). As an example, EASE2_N12.5km.geolocation.v0.9.nc is for the 12.5 km resolution in the Northern Hemisphere.

Other tools for working with the data will be available shortly.

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Sensor or Instrument Description

For a detailed description of the instruments used to acquire the data, see the following NSIDC web sites:

Table 5 provides a list of the channels for each instrument. All channels are gridded to 25 km and the higher resolutions depend on channel frequency. Frequencies below 12 GHz are at 12.5 km, between 12 and 30 GHz, resolution is 6.25 km, and above 30 GHz, resolution is 3.125 km.

Sensor Channel Frequency (GHz) and Polarization
Table 5. CETB Product Sensors and Channels
SMMR 6H, 6V, 10H, 10V, 18H, 18V, 21H, 21V, 37H, 37V
SSM/I 19H, 19V, 22V, 37H, 37V, 85H, 85V
SSMIS 19H, 19V, 22V, 37H, 37V, 91H, 91V
AMSR-E 6H, 6V, 10.7H, 10.7V, 18H, 18V, 23H, 23V, 36H, 36V, 89H, 89V
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Data Acquisition and Processing

Input Data

Table 6 lists the CETB input data sets.

Sensor Temporal Coverage Input Swath Data
Table 6. Input Data Sources
SMMR 1978-1987 Nimbus-7 SMMR Pathfinder Brightness Temperatures, Version 1 (NSIDC-0036)
SSM/I-SSMIS 1987-present CSU FCDR (http://rain.atmos.colostate.edu/FCDR/)
AMSR-E 2002-2011 AMSR-E/Aqua L2A Global Swath Spatially-Resampled Brightness Temperatures, Version 3 (AE_L2A)
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Processing Steps

There are two general processing steps in generating the CETB product. These include data set pre-processing for spatial and temporal selection, and gridding/reconstruction of the data. See the appropriate sections below.

Data set preprocessing
The first stage of processing ingests the raw swath TB and performs initial data and temporal selections. Only the highest quality TB measurements are used to ensure the most reliable data set. Swath data are mapped to output grids by measurement geolocation and local time-of-day (ltod).

Local Time-of-Day: All of the CETB passive microwave sensors fly on near-polar, sunsynchronous satellites, which maintain an orbital plane with an orientation that is (approximately) fixed with respect to the sun. Thus, the satellite crosses the equator on its ascending (northbound) path at approximately the same ltod. The resulting coverage pattern yields passes about 12 hours apart in ltod at the equator. Most areas near the pole are covered multiple times per day. Analysis shows that the data from a single sensor fall into two ltod ranges for polar measurements. The two periods are typically less than 4 hours long, spaced 8 or 12 hours apart. Significantly, due to the orbit repeat cycle, two succeeding days at any particular location may make measurements at different ltod, and therefore, at different times during the diurnal cycle (Gunn, 2007), introducing undesired variability (noise) into a time series analysis.

The CETB azimuthal (Northern or Southern) grids are split into two images per day based on the ltod approach of Gunn and Long (2008). This ensures that all measurements in any one image have consistent spatial/temporal relationships. The CETB adopts the ltod division scheme for the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In the equatorial regions of the EASE2-T grids, ltod is equivalent to division by ascending vs. descending passes,

Each file includes gridded arrays of the following variables: brightness temperature, number of contributing measurements, as well as the average time, standard deviation, and average incidence angle of contributing measurements used to derive the TB at each pixel. This enables investigators to explicitly account for the ltod temporal variation of the measurements included in a particular pixel.

Gridding/Reconstruction

CETB products are generated on coarse resolution grids for all channels using a low-noise “drop-in-the-bucket” average, and enhanced-resolution grids using rSIR (radiometer version of Scatterometer Image Reconstruction) image reconstruction techniques (Long and Brodzik, 2016). For enhanced-resolution grids, the effective resolution depends on the number of measurements and the precise details of their overlap, orientation, and spatial locations. See the Derivation Techniques and Algorithm section for more information.

Antenna Pattern and Measurement Spatial Response
For image reconstruction processing, information about the antenna gain pattern, the scan geometry, and integration period are required to compute the effective measurement response function (MRF). The MRF describes how much the emissions from a particular receive direction affect the observed TB value. For each sensor and channel, the MRF is modeled as a two-dimensional Gaussian using the 3-dB footprint size (Long and Brodzik, 2016). See Table 7 for the field-of-view values.

Sensor Frequency (GHz) Semi-major (km) Semi-minor (km)
Table 7. Effective Field of View
SSMI 19 H, V 69 43
SSMI 22 V 60 40
SSMI 37 V 37 28
SSMI 37 H 37 29
SSMI 85 H, V 15 13
SSMIS 19 H, V 72 44
SSMIS 22 V 72 44
SSMIS 37 H, V 44 26
SSMIS 91 H, V 15 9
AMSR-E 6 H, V 75 43
AMSR-E 10.7 H, V 51 29
AMSR-E 18 H, V 27 16
AMSR-E 23 H, V 32 18
AMSR-E 36 H, V 14 8
AMSR-E 89 (H or V) 7 4
AMSR-E 89 (H or V) 6 4
SMMR 6.6 H, V 121 79
SMMR 10.7 H, V 74 49
SMMR 18 H, V 44 29
SMMR 21 H, V 38 24
SMMR 37 H, V 21 14

Known Data Problems

When no swath measurement center locations were mapped to the area of the a gridded pixel, GRD images will occasssionally have single pixels with no data. Normally, rSIR images do not suffer from this problem, because the rSIR gain threshold is set to a value that almost always ensures at least one component measurement that can be used to derive the pixel brightness temperature.  However, beginning 4 Nov 2004, the AMSR-E 89 GHz A-horn developed a permanent problem that resulted in a loss of observations for the remining life of AMSR-E.  After this date, the rSIR 3.125 km 89 GHz data does occasionally have missing pixels (Beitsch, Kaleschke, and Kern, 2014).

For data acquired from https://n5eil01u.ecs.nsidc.org/MEASURES/NSIDC-0630.001/, all T grids produce data from 00:00 to 23:59.99 for date of file. N and S grids produce data that may include up to 6 hours of the day before and possibly the day after. These files are placed in the day directory that matches the beginning of the data in the file.

Example: File for day X starts a couple hours prior to UTC day X midnight. This file will be in the directory for day X-1, and there will be no file in directory for day X.

This problem does not affect users of EarthData Search.

Missing Dates

There are files for every date of each sensor's temporal coverage. For dates with no data, data files exist with all variables set to "_FillValue" (which compresses down to small files).

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Derivation Techniques and Algorithms

The following sections describe CETB gridding algorithms. Please refer to Long and Brodzik (2016) for the theory of reconstruction techniques and complete details of rSIR. Figure 5 provides a graphical representation of the enhanced resolution of rSIR measurements.

Figure 5. rSIR 3.125 km Resolution

Coarse Resolution (GRD) Gridding Algorithms
The CETB coarse resolution gridding procedure is a simple, “drop-in-the-bucket” average. The resulting data grids are designated GRD data arrays. For the "drop-in-the-bucket" gridding algorithm, the key information required is the location of the measurement. The center of each measurement geolocation is mapped to an output-projected grid cell. All measurements within the specified time period that fall within the bounds of a particular grid cell are averaged. This is the reported TB value for this pixel. Ancillary variables contain the number and standard deviation of included samples. The effective spatial resolution of the GRD product is defined by a combination of the pixel size and spatial extent of the 3dB antenna footprint size (Long and Brodzik, 2016). Figure 6 provides a graphical representation of the coarse resolution of GRD measurements.

Caption

Reconstruction Algorithm
Reconstruction algorithms use the effective Measurement Response Function (MRF). The MRF is determined by the antenna gain pattern (which is unique for each sensor and sensor channel, and may vary with scan angle), the scan geometry (notably the antenna scan angle), and the integration period. The latter “smears” the antenna gain pattern due to antenna rotation over the measurement integration period. The MRF describes how much the emissions from a particular receive direction contribute to the observed TB value.

For implementation in the CETB, fine map grid resolutions were selected for each channel according to Table 8.

Sensor Frequency (GHz) Enhanced Resolution Grid (km)
12.5 6.25 3.125
Table 8. CETB Enhanced Resolution Grids
SMMR 6 X
SMMR 10 X
SMMR 18 X
SMMR 21 X
SMMR 37 X
SSM/I 19 X
SSM/I 22 X
SSM/I 37 X
SSM/I 85 X
SSMIS 19 X
SSMIS 22 X
SSMIS 37 X
SSMIS 91 X
AMSR-E 6 X
AMSR-E 10.7 X
AMSR-E 18 X
AMSR-E 23 X
AMSR-E 36 X
AMSR-E 89 X
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CETB Comparison Table

Table 9 compares current data sets with the CETB product.

Variables SMMR EASE-Grid SSM/I-SSMIS EASE-Grid Enhanced Resolution SSM/I & AMSR-E Polar TBs Polar Stereographic Gridded TBs AMSR-E Gridded TBs CETB
Table 9. Comparison of CETB ESDR with Heritage Data Sets
Data Set ID NSIDC-0071 NSIDC-0032 NSIDC-0464 NSIDC-0001 NSIDC-0301; NSIDC-0302 NSIDC-0630
Spatial Coverage Global Global Global Limited Arctic/Antarctic regions Global Global
Spatial Coverage (Gridded) NSM EASE-Grids NSM EASE-Grids NSM EASE-Grids NS Polar Stereographic, limited to high latitudes NSM EASE-Grids and 1/4-degree lat/lon NST EASE-Grid 2.0
Spatial Resolution(s) 25 km 25 km (all); 12.5 km (85GHz only)

SSM/I: 12.5 km (19 and 22 GHz; 7.5 km (37.0 GHz); 2.5 km (85.5 GHz)
AMSR-E: 12.5 km (6, 10.7, 18, 23 GHz); 7.5 km (36 GHz); 2.5 km (89.0 GHz)

25 km (all); 12.5 km (85GHz only) 25 km and 1/4-degree 25 km (all); enhanced resolution up to ~3 km depending on channel
Temporal Coverage 1978-1987 1987-present SSM/I: 1995-2008
AMSR-E: 2002-2011
1987-present 2002-2011 1978-present
Interpolation (image reconstruction method) ID2 BG (tuned for low noise) or ID2 (F13 only) SIR DITB ID2 DITB at 25 km (all); SIR for enhanced resolution
Image Reconstruction Tuning Parameters N/A BG tuned to match resolution of all channels to 19V; ID2: N/A Independently optimized resolution for each channel N/A N/A SIR tuned to optimize resolution for each output channel
TB Files per Channel per Day 2 (asc and des) 2 (asc and des) 2 local time of day (ltod) 1 (daily averages) 2 2 (ltod for NS and asc/des for T grids)
Overlapping Orbits Choose one orbit Choose one orbit Combine orbits (with ltod) Averaged Choose one orbit Combine orbits (with ltod or asc/des)
Variable Metadata Time of sample used Time of sample used ltod? N/A Time of sample used Ltod, measurement counts, TB standard deviation, TB time
Algorithm Documentation Limited to User's Guide Limited to User's Guide Limited to User's Guide Limited to User's Guide Limited to User's Guide ATBD and Reconstruction White Paper
Satellites Included Full SMMR operations F08, F11, F13, F17 with limited overlap periods F13, AMSR-E F08, F11, F13, F17 with limited overlap periods Full AMSR-E operations All available satellite data included (SMMR, SSMI F08, F10, F11, F13, F14, F15, SSMIS F16, F17, F18, F19, AMSR-E)
Input Data Calibration Best available (Njoku, 2003) Older RSS calibration Older RSS calibration Older RSS calibration Best available Best available
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Version History

Refer to Table 10 for this data set's version history.

Table 10. Version History
Sensor Version 1.0 Version 1.1 Date Published Version 1.2 Date Published
AMSR-E Initial version (December, 2016) Not available Addition of missing input data for the first day of the month in the N and S projections
Change of the size of the time dimension from 1 to "UNLIMITED"
Addition of files for dates with no data
13 June 2017
F08 Not available First release at version 1.1 10 March 2017 Corrected the handling of QC flags to retain more data, eliminating only the flagged data in a given channel and taking care not to eliminate data in other channels. 12 July 2017
F10 Not available First release at version 1.1 14 April 2017 Corrected the handling of QC flags to retain more data, eliminating only the flagged data in a given channel and taking care not to eliminate data in other channels 20 September 2017
F11 Not available First release at version 1.1 24 April 2017 Corrected the handling of QC flags to retain more data, eliminating only the flagged data in a given channel and taking care not to eliminate data in other channels 03 August 2017
F13 Not available First release at version 1.1 11 April 2017 Corrected the handling of QC flags to retain more data, eliminating only the flagged data in a given channel and taking care not to eliminate data in other channels 11 August 2017
F14 Not available First release at version 1.1 03 May 2017 Corrected the handling of QC flags to retain more data, eliminating only the flagged data in a given channel and taking care not to eliminate data in other channels 28 August 2017
F15 Not available Not available First release at version 1.2 26 June 2017
F16 Not available Not available First release at version 1.2 05 July 2017
F17 Not available Not available First release at version 1.2 06 June 2017
F18 Not available Not available First release at version 1.2 29 June 2017
F19 Not available Not available First release at version 1.2 23 June 2017
SMMR Not available Not available First release at version 1.2 26 September 2017
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References and Related Publications

Contacts and Acknowledgments

Mary Brodzik
National Snow and Ice Data Center
449 UCB, 1540 30th St.
Boulder, CO 80309

David Long
Brigham Young University
Microwave Earth Remote Sensing (MERS) Laboratory
459 CB
Provo, UT 84602

Molly Hardman
National Snow and Ice Data Center
449 UCB, 1540 30th St.
Boulder, CO 80309

Aaron Paget
Brigham Young University
Microwave Earth Remote Sensing (MERS) Laboratory
459 CB
Provo, UT 84602

Richard Armstrong
National Snow and Ice Data Center
449 UCB, 1540 30th St.
Boulder, CO 80309

Document Information

DOCUMENT CREATION DATE

November 2016

DOCUMENT REVISION DATE

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