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Knowledge Expectations for METR 4613
Satellite Meteorology

Purpose: This document describes the principal concepts, technical skills, and fundamental
understanding that all students are expected to process upon completing METR 4613, Satellite
Meteorology. Individual instructors may deviate somewhat fro the specific topics and order listed

Pre-requisites: Grade of C or better in METR 4133, METR 4424.

Students should have a basic understanding of radiation and synoptic meteorology concepts and have
technical skills in statistical methods and concepts. Knowledge of the Earth’s climate and major
climatic weather system is essential.

Goal of the Course: This course is designed to give the students a broad overview of past and
current satellite systems, their missions and the physics underlying the variable retrieval
algorithms. It is expected that the students will learn about the current and past satellite
systems, the data they collect, along the necessary caveats to using these data to observe
atmospheric conditions.

Topical Knowledge Expectations
I. History of satellite systems
• Be aware of early satellite systems and their missions
• Be aware of the current the earth satellite observing systems
II. Review of basic atmospheric radiation principles
• Understand the basic concepts of radiation in general and its measurement. These concepts include
the basic laws of radiation, e.g. steradians, units, Plank function, Wien’s law, the
Rayleigh-Jean’s approximation, etc.
• Understand the physical concepts of radiative transfer within the atmosphere which necessitates
the knowledge of emissivity, absorption across the radiation spectrum for different atmospheric
• Understand and be able to utilize Schwarzschild’s equation for infrared transfer through the

III. Satellite instrumentation

• Understand the workings of a radiometer
• Know the difference and antenna requirements for IR, Microwave and visual radiometers, e.g. AVHRR
• Know the orbital and geometrical characteristics of different observing platforms
• Know the instrumentation on different satellites