Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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From research to operation: Professor Huang’s new project

Posted: November 12, 2015

From research to operation: Professor Huang’s new project Professor Xianglei Huang

By: Professor Xianglei Huang

Associate Professor Xianglei Huang was recently awarded a multi-year project from NASA Langley Research Center.

The center is interested in using algorithms developed in his research group for the routine operational data production of a flagship satellite mission called CERES (Cloud and Earth’s Radiant Energy System). CERES is the only US satellite mission designated for measuring the energy budget at the top of the atmosphere. Monitoring the balance and imbalance of energy flux at the top of atmosphere has profound applications in the study of global climate change in response to anthropogenic activities.

While the CERES can only provide measurements of broadband energy flux, over the years Dr. Huang’s group has developed and verified a set of algorithms to infer the spectrally resolve flux from a synergy use of CERES and hyperspectral observations from space such as AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder).

Researchers have used the spectrally resolved fluxes produced by this set of algorithms for different purposes. For example, scientists in NOAA GFDL (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory), NASA GMAO (Global Modeling and Assimilation Office) and Environment Canada are using them to evaluate the next generations of global climate models, and scientists in the California Institute of Technology/JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) are using them to study far-infrared portion of the energy budget and to develop innovative methods to assess cloud feedbacks in climate system.

In addition to the radiation budget measurement at the top of atmosphere, the CERES team also produces routine estimates of surface radiation budget using a top-down constrain method. The new project will integrate the algorithms developed by Dr. Huang’s group into such routine production and, by doing so, the global surface radiation budget will be constrained not only by the broadband measurements from space but also by the spectral details of such measurements.

To learn more about CERES, please click here.

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