Workshop on Airborne Radiometry for Water Vapor and Liquid Water Retrievals

Airborne remote sensing has improved significantly over the last two decades, with NSF investing in new radars and lidars for its aircraft fleet.
A workshop held on 23-24 September, 2014, in Boulder, CO, reviewed scientific requirements for and instrument improvements in airborne microwave radiometry in this context. The surveyed microwave radiometers provide two important new sources of information: 

1. The geophysical constraints on new vertically-resolved radar and lidar retrievals of aerosol, water vapor, and cloud liquid water
2. A potentially three-dimensional thermodynamic mapping capable of providing new insights into long-standing mesoscale problems. Simultaneously, miniaturization is creating smaller radiometers with lower power needs, higher frequencies, improved stabilities, and more modular designs.

Technological breakthroughs allows micro- and millimeter-wave radiometers to become more integrated into a synergistic suite of active and passive remote sensors. Ideal radiometer characteristics were identified, and institutional processes recommended by which NSF might promote the development and/or acquisition of a new sensor.