RFM Numerical Optimisations
The principle calculation unit is a 'path',
defined as the segment of a tangent ray bounded by an atmospheric
profile layer for a single gas. For example, if an atmosphere is defined
at 0, 10, 20 .... 60 km, and a single CO2 radiance spectrum from tangent height
35 km is required, there will be 3 paths corresponding to the altitudes 35-40,
40-50 and 50-60 km. If H2O is added, this will double the number of paths to 6.
Adding horizontal structure (GRA Flag) will
also double the number of paths since the upward and downward parts of the
ray path are no longer identical.
If a FOV convolution is required the number of paths is again increased by
a factor corresponding to the number of tangent rays required to specify the
If processing speed rather than accuracy is a requirement, several
optimisations are available which either reduce the number of calculated paths,
or speed up the spectral calculation for each path.
Starting with the simplest, the following options are suggested:
- .atm File
- The number of paths is also determined
by the height and resolution of the atmospheric profile, i.e. the
altitude grid specified in the first file named in the
*ATM section of the Driver Table.
It is generally
adequate to set an upper limit of 25km above the highest limb tangent
point required, and to increase the profile spacing in the
upper levels. Rather than reformat the standard atmosphere files,
the suggested method is to prepare a single height profile in
the .atm file
format which contains the required subset of
the US Std atmosphere altitudes and insert this as the first file in the
- *TAN Section
- Compute as many tangent heights as possible at the same time. This is
because many path sections in the upper
atmosphere have similar Curtis-Godson p,T values so the absorption
coefficients only need to be calculated for one path segment and will
be automatically scaled by the absorber amount for similar segments
(the CLC Flag switches off this scaling).
- .fov File
- The details of the FOV tabulation
critically affect the number of calculated paths. For single tangent
heights, the number of paths will be proportional to the number of points
to specify the FOV. For multiple, regularly-spaced tangent heights,
efficiency can be gained by using a FOV tabulation on the same spacing
as the tangent heights which allows individual tangent paths to be reused
and adding the FVZ Flag.
For example, the MIPAS trapezium-shape response (0,1,1,1,0) at
relative altitude coordinates (-2,-1.4,0,+1.4,+2) can be replaced by an
`equivalent' shape (0,y,1,y,0) where y=0.2798 for (-3,-1.5,0,+1.5,+3),
or y=0.2302 for (-2,-1,0,+1,+2). For the 1.5km FOV spacing,
a series of n limb views at 3 km increments will
require 2n+3 tangent paths instead of 5n.
- REJ Flag
- Sets lower limits on the path-adjusted strength of lines which are
included in the spectral calculation.
Different criteria will be appropriate for different spectral regions and
tangent heights so it is advisable to compare results with and without
this option for specific cases.
- WNG Flag
- Excludes all line wings beyond 200 line-widths
where this is narrower than the normal fine-mesh calculation limit of
This reduces the number of line-shape calcuations for weak
lines or high altitudes.
- SHP Flag
- By default the RFM uses the Voigt lineshape throughout (=convolution of
Lorentz and Doppler lineshapes). However if it is known that either
Doppler or Lorentz are appropriate, the calculation is quicker if
these lineshapes are used explicitly. (Warning: although the Lorentz
line shape may describe the lineshape at low tangent altitudes it is
often necessary to allow for the Doppler 'core' of lines when performing
calculations using the limb-viewing geometry)
- FIN Flag
- If an ILS convolution is required (set by the
ILS or AVG
default is to perform the calculation at 2000 pts/cm-1,
which is adequate
to resolve lines at all altitudes.
If only broad lines are required (ie low altitude
tangent points, say below 30 km) the user can specify a coarser resolution
to speed up the calculation. A warning message is printed in the
if the user-specified resolution seems too coarse.
- GRD Flag
- The user can supply irregular grids (.grd
files) to specify the spectral points at
which the lineshapes, absorption coefficients, radiative transfer etc
are calculated instead of using every point on the regular fine grid.
The path radiances, absorptions and transmissions are then interpolated
to the regular grid before output (also prior to any ILS convolution).
- LUT Flag
- The user can supply Look-Up Tables
to supply pretabulated absorption coefficients for specific absorbers and
spectral ranges, instead of using a line-by-line calculation.