An inter-comparison of far-infrared line-by-line radiative transfer models

David P. Kratz, Martin G. Mlynczak, Christopher J. Mertens, Helen Brindley, Larry L. Gordley, Javier Martin-Torres, Ferenc M. Miskolczi, David D. Turner

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31 Citations (Scopus)


A considerable fraction (>40%) of the outgoing longwave radiation escapes from the Earth's atmosphere-surface system within a region of the spectrum known as the far-infrared (wave-numbers less than ). Dominated by the line and continuum spectral features of the pure rotation band of water vapor, the far-infrared has a strong influence upon the radiative balance of the troposphere, and hence upon the climate of the Earth. Despite the importance of the far-infrared contribution, however, very few spectrally resolved observations have been made of the atmosphere for wave-numbers less than . The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), under its Instrument Incubator Program (IIP), is currently developing technology that will enable routine, space-based spectral measurements of the far-infrared. As part of NASA's IIP, the Far-Infrared Spectroscopy of the Troposphere (FIRST) project is developing an instrument that will have the capability of measuring the spectrum over the range from 100 to at a resolution of . To properly analyze the data from the FIRST instrument, accurate radiative transfer models will be required. Unlike the mid-infrared, however, no inter-comparison of codes has been performed for the far-infrared. Thus, in parallel with the development of the FIRST instrument, an investigation has been undertaken to inter-compare radiative transfer models for potential use in the analysis of far-infrared measurements. The initial phase of this investigation has focused upon the inter-comparison of six distinct line-by-line models. The results from this study have demonstrated remarkably good agreement among the models, with differences being of order 0.5%, thereby providing a high measure of confidence in our ability to accurately compute spectral radiances in the far-infrared.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-341
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Upprättat; 2005; 20150217 (ninhul)



  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Rymd- och flygteknik


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