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Instrument: ERBE : Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
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The Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE), flown on the Earth
Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) and the NOAA Polar Orbiting
Environmental Satellites (NOAA-9, NOAA-10), was designed to measure the
energy exchange between the earth-atmosphere system and space. The
measurements of global, zonal, and regional radiation budgets on
monthly time scales helped in climate prediction and in the
development of statistical relationships between regional weather and
radiation budget anomalies. The ERBE consisted of two seperate
instrument packages: the nonscanner (ERBE-NS) instrument and the
scanner (ERBS-S) instrument. The ERBE-NS instrument had five sensors,
each using cavity radiometer detectors. Four of them were primarily
earth-viewing. Two wide-field-of-view (WFOV) sensors viewed the entire
disk of the earth from limb to limb, approximately 135 deg. Two medium
FOV (MFOV) sensors viewed a 10-deg region. The fifth sensor was a
solar monitor that measured the total radiation from the sun. Of the
four earth-viewing sensors, one WFOV and one MFOV sensor made total
radiation measurements; the other two measured reflected solar
radiation in the shortwave spectral band between 0.2 and 5 micrometers
by using Suprasil-W filters. The earth-emitted longwave radiation
component was determined by subtracting the shortwave measurement from
the total measurement. The ERBE-S instrument was a scanning radiometer
that contained three narrow FOV channels. One channel measured
reflected solar radiation in the shortwave spectral interval between
0.2 and 5 micrometers. Another channel measured earth-emitted
radiation in the longwave spectral region from 5 to 50 micrometers.
The third channel measured total radiation with a wavelength between
0.2 and 50 micrometers. All three channels were located within a
continuously rotating scan drum, which scanned the FOV across track
sequentially from horizon to horizon. Each channel made 74 radiometric
measurements during each scan, and the FOV of each channel was 3 by
4.5 deg, which covered about 40 km at the earth's surface. The ERBE-S
also viewed the sun for calibration.
Additional information can be obtained from the "Earth Radiation
Budget Experiment (ERBE): An Overview," J. Energy, vol 6, pp. 141-146
(1982), by B.R. Barkstrom and J.B. Hall, Jr.
More information can also be found at:
Data availability contact:
Langley Distributed Active Archive Center
Mail Stop 157B
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, Virginia 23681-0001
FAX (804)864-8807