NOAA 16 satellite
Co-chairs: Louis Garand (MSC), Paul van Delst (JCSDA)

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Surface property models

The surface property models task group

At the Beijing 2005 ITSC the RTSP working group endorsed the formation of a task group to co-ordinate surface radiative property modelling activities, proposed by Ben Ruston. It was agreed that, while the task group will address surface property modelling for all surface types, in the first instance the task group would focus on land surface emissivity atlas and model developments in the first instance.

Catherine Prigent (Meteo France) and Fuzhong Weng (NOAA/NESDIS) are the co-chairs of the surface property models task group.

The task group has completed a survey of operational weather centres on the use of surface-sensitive ATOVS radiances, and is organising the First Workshop on Remote Sensing and Modeling of Surface Properties, to be held in Paris in June 2006.

Summary of operational surface emissivity models

These tables are an incomplete summary of current surface emissivity models. Please feel free to provide updated or additional information to the RTSP-WG co-chairs.


Emissivity modelSurface typeRT model More info
Sea Surface Infrared Emissivity Model (SSIREM)seaRTTOV Eumetsat NWP SAF Technical Report
InfraRed Sea Surface Emissivity (IRSSE)seaCRTMPaul van Delst's web documentation


Emissivity modelSurface typeRT model More info
FASTEMseaRTTOV Eumetsat NWP SAF Technical Report
Microwave Emission Model (MEM)sea, land (various)CRTM ?updated link needed

Surface emissivity atlases

Miscelleaneous Surface emissivity information


  • Yan,B., F.Weng, H.Meng, and N.Grody, Retrieval of Snow Surface Microwave Emissivity from Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), submitted to J.Geophys.Res (2008).