Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Clifton E. Dungey, PhD


The Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) has two operational algorithms that derive surface temperatures from microwave observations taken by the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) which rides aboard space platforms of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The algorithm called Temperature from Satellite Microwave Imager (TS) is used to analyze global cloud coverage. The second algorithm is fittingly called Calibration and Validation (CV), as it was the algorithm used to calibrate and validate the first SSM/I in 1987. Multiple linear regression defined the algorithms from empirically gathered brightness temperatures and simultaneous surface temperatures. The key questions were how much data do these algorithms produce and how accurate is it. These questions were answered with a multi-seasonal comparative study over four locations. The study matched algorithm outputs to conventional weather station temperature readings. Over 13,300 data pairs were generated from the 1996 summer and fall and 1996-1997 winter for the Continental United States, Bosnia, Korea, and Saudi Arabia. The results show TS produced on average 7% more surface temperatures than CV. CV met AFWA's accuracy criteria 16% more often than TS. On average, CV was 1.0 degree Celsius more accurate than TS. The study generated bias tables for all locations and seasons.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number


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Meteorology Commons