RTTOV-Gb v1.0-updates on sensors, absorption models, uncertainty, and availability

Domenico Cimini, James Hocking, Francesco De Angelis, Angela Cersosimo, Francesco Di Paola, Donatello Gallucci, Sabrina Gentile, Edoardo Geraldi, Salvatore Larosa, Saverio Nilo, Filomena Romano, Elisabetta Ricciardelli, Ermann Ripepi, Mariassunta Viggiano, Lorenzo Luini, Carlo Riva, Frank S. Marzano, Pauline Martinet, Yun Young Song, Myoung Hwan AhnPhilip W. Rosenkranz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper describes the first official release (v1.0) of RTTOV-gb. RTTOV-gb is a FORTRAN 90 code developed by adapting the atmospheric radiative transfer code RTTOV, focused on satellite-observing geometry, to the ground-based observing geometry. RTTOV-gb is designed to simulate ground-based upward-looking microwave radiometer (MWR) observations of atmospheric downwelling natural radiation in the frequency range from 22 to 150GHz. Given an atmospheric profile of temperature, water vapor, and, optionally, cloud liquid water content, and together with a viewing geometry, RTTOV-gb computes downwelling radiances and brightness temperatures leaving the bottom of the atmosphere in each of the channels of the sensor being simulated. In addition, it provides the sensitivity of observations to the atmospheric thermodynamical state, i.e., the Jacobians. Therefore, RTTOV-gb represents the forward model needed to assimilate ground-based MWR data into numerical weather prediction models, which is currently pursued internationally by several weather services. RTTOV-gb is fully described in a previous paper (De Angelis et al., 2016), while several updates are described here. In particular, two new MWR types and a new parameterization for the atmospheric absorption model have been introduced since the first paper. In addition, estimates of the uncertainty associated with the absorption model and with the fast parameterization are given here. Brightness temperatures (TB) computed with RTTOV-gb v1.0 from radiosonde profiles have been compared with ground-based MWR observations in six channels (23.8, 31.4, 72.5, 82.5, 90.0, and 150.0GHz). The comparison shows statistics within the expected accuracy. RTTOV-gb is now available to licensed users free of charge from the Numerical Weather Prediction Satellite Application Facility (NWP SAF) website, after registration. Coefficients for four MWR instrument types and two absorption model parameterizations are also freely available from the RTTOV-gb support website.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833-1845
Number of pages13
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 9 May 2019

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