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Where are you getting O2 from?
RSS upper air temperature products are based on measurements made by microwave sounders. Microwave sounders are capable of retrieving vertical temperature profiles of the atmosphere by measuring the thermal emission from oxygen molecules at different frequencies.
et us now go back to the illustrative spectrum of terrestrial radiation in Figure 7-8 . The integral of the terrestrial emission spectrum over all wavelengths, averaged globally, must correspond to that of a blackbody at 255 K in order to balance the absorbed solar radiation. In our simple greenhouse model of section 7.3.2 , this average is represented by adding the contributions of the emission fluxes from the warm surface and from the cold atmosphere (equation (7.12) ). In the same manner, the spectrum in Figure 7-8 can be interpreted as a superimposition of blackbody spectra for different temperatures depending on the wavelength region ( Figure 7-13 ). In the atmospheric window at 8-12 mm,the atmosphere is only weakly absorbing except for the O3 feature at 9.6 mm. The radiation flux measured by a satellite in that wavelength range corresponds to a blackbody at the temperature of the Earth's surface
TIRS uses Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs) to detect long wavelengths of light emitted by the Earth with an intensity depending on surface temperature. These wavelengths, called thermal infrared, are well beyond the range of human vision and while devices for thermal infrared night 'vision' have long been available, QWIPs offered a new lower-cost alternative to conventional infrared technology. QWIPs arrays are designed for sensitivity to specific wavelengths.
The QWIPs design operates on the complex principles of quantum mechanics. Gallium arsenide semiconductor chips trap electrons in an energy state 'well' until the electrons are elevated to a higher state by thermal infrared light of a certain wavelength. The elevated electrons create an electrical signal that can be read out and recorded to create a digital image.