Satellite Data Simulator Unit (SDSU)

SDSU ver. 2.1.4 is now available (released on June 27, 2011).

1. Overview

radar This package contains Fortran codes to simulate microwave brightness temperature, radar reflectivity, and visible/infrared radiance as measured by meteorological satellite sensors. The three simulator components aimed at microwave radiometers, radars, and visible/IR imagers can be executed either individually or all together. Radiative transfer codes are implemented with Mie-theory-based subroutines to compute the radiative properties of cloud and precipitating hydrometeors as well as a gas absorption database covering a broad range of electromagnetic spectrum. A beam-convolution program is also provided so that the non-uniform beam filling effect is taken into account for an arbitrary FOV size.

The existing and prospective satellite sensors applicable include (but are not limited to):

  1. Microwave radiometers and sounders*1
    • Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I)
    • Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI)
    • Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) and AMSR-E
    • Coriolis WindSat
    • Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI)
    • Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) and Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS)
  2. Radars
    • TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR)
    • CloudSat Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR)
    • GPM Dual-frequency Radar (DPR)
  3. Visible and infrared imagers
    • Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)
    • TRMM Visible/Infrared Scanner (VIRS)
    • Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)
    • Visible/IR sensors onboard operational geostationary satellites such as GMS (MTSAT), GOES, and Meteosat.

SDSU gallery shows some sample simulations.

[*1: A minor modification to the radiative transfer code will be needed to simulate mixed polarization channels, typical of cross-track scanning sounders.]

2. SDSU version 2

The SDSU is now upgraded to version 2. Major changes from the earlier version are


The latest version as of April 19, 2011 is SDSU 2.1.4 (see Release Notes for more information).

3. Download

3.1 Package

The SDSU package is distributed for free to registered users. The simulator is not guaranteed to perform always as intended, depending on users' computer environment and other factors, so please use it at your own risk. Registrants will be notified of any issues, if found, that are worth attention of general users. Provided information will never be used for any other purposes.

Please fill in your name and email address below for registration.


3.2 Patch archives

Patches are available for existing users to upgrade their SDSU. Patches don't work with SDSU ver.1, so if you don't have SDSU-v2 yet, please visit the registration portal above. The patch archives will be kept updated for future upgrades. Existing SDSU-v2 users are encouraged to regularly check the SDSU www site.

Version Patch files Applicable to
2.1.4 patch-v2.1.4.tar v2.1.3 or earlier
2.1.3 patch-v2.1.3.tar v2.1.2 or earlier
2.1.2 patch-v2.1.2.tar v2.1.1 or earlier
2.1.1 patch-v2.1.1.tar v2.1.0 or earlier
2.1.0 patch-v2.1.0.tar v2.0b

Expand the downloaded patch in your "SDSU-v2/" directory and follow the instructions in README.

4. Documentation

The SDSU-v2 User's Guide in PDF, revised on May 21, 2010 for ver. 2.1.2 (document release 2.1), is the complete documentation of the SDSU version 2.

A short SDSU article has been published in the In Box section of Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), 91,1625-1632 (2010) [PDF].

5. Feedback

Please send questions, bug reports, complaints, or whatever responses to Hiro Masunaga, Nagoya University. Since it is maintained on a volunteer basis, prompt reply is not guaranteed.

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Last modified: Fri Nov 8 15:35:02 2013