THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
CEOS EO HANDBOOK – MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS
Measurements > Atmosphere >
Cloud particle properties and profile >
Cloud liquid water (column/profile)


Measurement Definition*: Vertical profile of atmospheric water in the liquid phase (precipitating or not). Requested in the troposphere (assumed height: 12 km), and as total column - Physical unit: profile [ g/kg ], total column [kg/m2] - Accuracy unit: profile [ % ], total column [kg/m2].

Thematic Links
InstrumentStatus/
Accuracy
Instrument DescriptionMeasurement TechnologyTimeline
ABI
Advanced Baseline Imager
Operational
Detects clouds, cloud properties, water vapour, land and sea surface temperatures, dust, aerosols, volcanic ash, fires, total ozone, snow and ice cover, vegetation index.n/a
ACE-FTS
Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) Fourier Transform Spectrometer
Operational
Measure and understand the chemical processes that control the distribution of ozone in the Earth's atmosphere, especially at high altitudes.Limb-scanning IR spectrometer
Advanced MI
Advanced Meteorological Imager
Operational
Continuous monitoring capability for the near real-time generation of high-resolution meteorological products and long-term change analysis of sea surface temperature and cloud coverage.n/a
AMSR2
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer -2
Operational
+/-0.04 kg/m2
Measurements of water vapour, cloud liquid water, precipitation, winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, snow cover, soil moisture.n/a
AMSU-A
Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A
Operational
All-weather night-day temperature sounding to an altitude of 45 km.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
AMSU-A
Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A
Operational
All-weather night-day temperature sounding to an altitude of 45 km. AMSU-A on Aqua is still partially operational, with 9 of the 15 channels working and collecting data.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
CPR (CloudSat)
Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR)
Operational
+/-0.5 g-m-3
Primary goal to provide data needed to evaluate and improve the way clouds are represented in global climate models. Measures vertical profile of clouds.Cloud and precipitation radar
GMI
GPM Microwave Imager
Operational
Measures rainfall rates over oceans and land, combined rainfall structure and surface rainfall rates with associated latent heating. Used to produce three hour, daily, and monthly total rainfall maps over oceans and land.n/a
IKFS-2
IR-Fourier spectrometer
Operational
Atmospheric temperature/humidity profiles, data on cloud parameters, water vapour & ozone column amounts, surface temperature.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
MAESTRO
Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation
Operational
Chemical processes involved in the depletion of the ozone layer, and now including a high quality water vapour data product.Limb-scanning SW spectrometer
MHS
Microwave Humidity Sounder
Operational
Atmospheric humidity profiles, cloud cover, cloud liquid, water content, ice boundaries and precipitation data. MHS on NOAA-18 is considered failed following an anomaly on 21 October 2018.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
MTVZA-GY
Scanning microwave imager-sounder
Operational
Atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, precipitation, sea-level wind speed, snow/ice coverage.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
MWRI
Micro-Wave Radiation Imager
Operational
All weather observations of precipitation, cloud features, vegetation, soil moisture sea ice, etc.n/a
SSM/I
Special Sensor Microwave Imager
Operational
Measures atmospheric, ocean and terrain microwave brightness temperatures to provide: sea surface winds, rain rates, cloud water, precipitation, soil moisture, ice edge, ice age.n/a
SSM/T-1
Special Sensor Microwave Temperature Sounder
Operational
Measures Earth's surface and atmospheric emission in the 50 - 60 GHz oxygen band.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
SSM/T-2
Special Sensor Microwave Water Vapor Sounder
Operational
Water vapour profiler.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
VISSR-2
Stretched Visible and Infrared Spin Scan Radiometer-2
Operational
Meteorological.n/a
WindSat
WindSat
Operational
Demonstration of sea surface wind vector observation by polarimetric passive radiometryn/a
AMSR3
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer -3
Being developed
Measurements of water vapour, cloud liquid water, precipitation including snowfall, winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, snow cover, soil moisture.n/a
CPR (EarthCARE)
Cloud Profiling Radar (EarthCARE)
Being developed
Measurement of cloud properties, light precipitation, vertical motion.Cloud and precipitation radar
ATLID
ATmospheric LIDar
Approved
Derivation of cloud and aerosol properties - Measurement of molecular and particle backscatter in Rayleigh, co-polar and cross-polar Mie channels.n/a
IKFS-3
Advanced Fourier spectrometer
Proposed
Atmospheric temperature/humidity profiles, data on cloud parameters, water vapour & ozone column amounts, surface temperature.High-resolution nadir-scanning IR spectrometer
MTVZA-GY-MP
Advanced Scanning microwave imager-sounder
Proposed
Atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, precipitation, sea-level wind speed, snow/ice coverage.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
AMSR-E
Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS
No longer operational
+/-0.05 kg/m2
Measurements of water vapour, cloud liquid water, precipitation, winds, sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, snow cover and soil moisture. Instrument stopped functioning 4th October 2011.n/a
HSB
Humidity Sounder for Brazil
No longer operational
Humidity soundings for climatological and atmospheric dynamics applications. The scan mirror motor failed on the 5th of February 2003.Absorption-band MW radiometer/spectrometer
* Description adapted from WMO.
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