Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Robert S. Wacker, PhD.


Satellite based Tropical Cyclone (TC) intensity estimates are critical for TC warning centers and global Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Models due to the lack of in-situ observations of mean sea-level pressure and TC winds. Passive microwave instruments on polar-orbiting weather satellites are useful for estimating the intensity of TCs because upwelling microwave radiation can generally penetrate clouds. The upwelling radiation is converted to brightness temperatures and used to measure the intensity of the TC's warm core, precipitation, and ice particle formation via the emitted radiation absorption and scattering signatures. Currently, operational TC prediction centers rely on intensity estimates derived from Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSUA) brightness temperatures. This study compares the performance of a variety of TC intensity estimation techniques using both the imaging and sounding channels from AMSUA, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder (SSMI/S), and the Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) for a sample of 28 North Atlantic storms from the 2011 through 2013 TC seasons.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number