Remedy 1: Development and testing of MWR standards and secondary standards

Primary gap remedy type: 
TRL 4-6
Secondary gap remedy type: 
Proposed remedy description: 

Metrology applicable to microwave remote sensing radiometry is currently under development at national/international measurement institutes (e.g. National Institute for Standards and Technology, USA). These efforts include the development of a standard radiometer and standard high-emissivity black body (BB) targets. It is expected that SI-traceable calibration for BB targets and transfer standards in the form of calibrated BB targets will be available at NIST in the next few years. The current status is presented in an open literature paper (Houtz et al., 2017). The uncertainty in the BB Tb is around 0.1 K (1-sigma), covering the frequency range from 10 to 200 GHz. NIST plans to be able to calibrate other BB targets against their standards, which could then be used as transfer standards. Thus, the primary gap remedy type is technical/technological (the development of MW standards), but it involves laboratory and research work (testing and characterization) as well as deployment (transfer standard to manufacturer and user communities).


The remedy will make microwave standards available at least at one measurement institute (NIST). GAIA-CLIM aims at monitoring and effectively communicating the progress to MWR manufacturers and users, in order to promote the uptake of certified targets.

Measurable outcome of success: 

The successful outcome is to make MWR users and manufacturers aware of the above developments. The effective characterization of existing and/or new MWR units against microwave standards would be an additional measure of success, which is subject to the availability of the transfer standards before the end of GAIA-CLIM.

Expected viability for the outcome of success: 
  • Medium
Scale of work: 
  • Single institution
Time bound to remedy: 
  • Less than 5 years
Indicative cost estimate (investment): 
  • Medium cost (< 5 million)
Indicative cost estimate (exploitation): 
  • No
Potential actors: 
  • Academia, individual research institutes
  • SMEs/industry
  • National measurement institutes