Top > AIRS Level 3 daily temperature profile
I explain temperature profile obtained by Aqua/AIRS satellite at NASA's website, and compare it with the data from radiosonde balloon observation.

AIRS Level 3 Standard Daily Product (AIRS+AMSU)

Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) is one of the six instruments onboard the Aqua satellite which has a sun-synchronous orbit. Aqua crosses the equator from South to North at 1:30 PM local time (daytime) in an ascending orbit, and from North to South at 1:30 AM (nighttime) in a descending orbit. Therefore twice daily temperature profiles are obtained by AIRS.

AIRS Level 3 (Version 5) standard daily product (AIRS+AMSU) is available on NASA Goddard Earth Sciences, Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). Each daily data covers a temporal period of 24 hours for either the descending (nighttime) or ascending (daytime) orbit, starts at the international dateline and progresses westward. The geophysical parameters, inclueds temperature profiles at 24 pressure levels from 1 hPa to 1000 hPa, have been averaged and binned into 1° x 1° grid cells, from -180.0° to +180.0° longitude and from -90.0° to +90.0° latitude.

Sample temperature profile at Jan 1, 2010.

Deta from ascending (daytime) orbit.
Jan 1, 1:30 AM to Jan 2, 1:30 AM, at 500 hPa
Data from descending (nighttime) orbit.
Dec 31, 1:30 PM to Jan 1, 1:30 PM, at 500 hPa

To get the data at the South Pole, I average over the available data in 360 bins below -89.0° latitude around Pole. These are my fortran code, and output text file obtained from daily HDF data at Jan 1, 2010. Temperature profile in 24 pressure level is listed with surface temperature/pressure and geopotential height at 24 pressure level.

Compare with Balloon Observation ( Histogram - from radiosonde, Points - from AIRS Level 3 )

Note: No balloon data on upper than 5.0hPa pressure level.

Link to the AIRS Level 3 standard daily product (AIRS/AMSU) on NASA's website

Main page
http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/AIRS/data-holdings/by-data-product/airsL3_STD_AIRS_AMSU.shtml
Version 5
Direct link to the data sets ( from Aug 30, 2002 to Mar 31, 2013, HDF file )
http://acdisc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/opendap/Aqua_AIRS_Level3/AIRX3STD.005/
ftp://acdisc.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/s4pa/Aqua_AIRS_Level3/AIRX3STD.005/
User's Guide
ftp://acdisc.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/s4pa/Aqua_AIRS_Level3/AIRX3STD.005/doc/README.AIR_3ST_.pdf
Version 6
Direct link to the data sets ( from Aug 30, 2002 to current, HDF file )
http://acdisc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/opendap/Aqua_AIRS_Level3/AIRX3STD.006/
ftp://acdisc.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/s4pa/Aqua_AIRS_Level3/AIRX3STD.006/
User's Guide
http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/AIRS/documentation/v6_docs/v6releasedocs-1/V6_L3_User_Guide.pdf