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PML-Sensor Science Division Advances

These Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) projects support climate science research and greenhouse gas emissions monitoring by providing measurements that have high accuracy, excellent comparability, exceptional quality, and rigorous traceability to the International System of Units (SI). Such measurements range from the development of calibration reference standards, tools, and facilities; development of measurement methods and procedures; and calibration of instrument components.

Surface Temperature Measurement Validated Uncertainties, New Measurement Methods and 3D Microclimate Measurements – (G. Strouse, PML and A. Possolo, ITL) The objective is to quantify the measurement uncertainties of historical and current surface air temperature measurement. Understanding surface air temperature measurements relative to the SI is critical in assessing the uncertainty of climate change predictions, spatial distribution, and seasonal dependence.
Calibration of Earth-Viewing Satellite Sensors – (J. Rice, PML) Goal: to develop the metrology infrastructure to enable SI-traceable radiometric calibration of satellite sensors at uncertainty levels relevant for Earth climate monitoring. This includes advancing primary standards maintained at NIST, developing and disseminating calibration methods and tools, and transferring the NIST scale to calibration facilities involved with satellite calibration.
Advanced Reflectance/BRDF Standards for Surface and Atmospheric Albedo Measurements – (H. Patrick, PML) Goal: to facilitate the monitoring of climate change forces through dissemination of the reflectance scale and improved capabilities for the characterization and theoretical understanding of reflective and scattering materials.
Surface and Exo-Atmospheric Solar Measurements – (T. Lucatorto, E. Shirley and H. Yoon, PML) Goal: to provide state-of-the-art high-accuracy radiometric standards and measurement capabilities from 2 nm to 2500 nm to improve the quantification of surface and exo-atmospheric solar radiation, the main drivers for the Earth's climate and weather.
Exo-atmospheric Standards for Satellite Sensor Calibration and Nighttime Aerosol Quantification – (C. Cramer, PML) Goal: to establish the Moon and a set of reference stars as exo-atmospheric optical radiation standards for on-orbit calibration of satellite sensors used for climate monitoring. Atmospheric monitoring techniques developed can also be used to monitor nighttime aerosol loading.
Ocean Color Measurement – (C. Johnson, PML) Goal: to provide measurement support for ocean color remote sensing studies of the world's oceans, leading to a better understanding of their ecology and biogeochemistry and, in particular, their response to the increasing concentration of atmospheric CO2.
NIST CROMMA Facility: A Unified Coordinated Metrology Space for Millimeter - Wave Antenna Characterization– (J. Gordon, CTL and D. Novotny, PML) Goal: to develop new metrology techniques for antennas operating in climate monitoring bands (100 GHz-500 GHz) based on robotics and coordinated spatial metrology.
Mid-Infrared Sources and Techniques for Greenhouse Gas Detection – (S. Diddams and N. Newbury, PML) Goal: to develop broadband mid infrared frequency comb sources and spectroscopic sensing techniques for quantitative greenhouse gas detection in support of climate science.
Greenhouse Gas Monitoring using Fiber Frequency Combs – (N. Newbury and S. Diddams, PML) Goal: to develop a novel frequency comb-based sensor for the accurate and precise measurement of greenhouse gases over kilometer-scale open air paths. This system can support future regional studies as well as provide truth data for the validation of satellite-based systems.




Created March 9, 2015, Updated April 5, 2022