Compressive Earth observatory: An insight from AIRS/AMSU retrievals

Ardeshir M. Ebtehaj, Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Gilad Lerman, Rafael L. Bras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that the global fields of temperature, humidity, and geopotential heights admit a nearly sparse representation in the wavelet domain, offering a viable path forward to explore new paradigms of sparsity-promoting data assimilation and compressive recovery of land surface-atmospheric states from space. We illustrate this idea using retrieval products of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) on board the Aqua satellite. The results reveal that the sparsity of the fields of temperature is relatively pressure independent, while atmospheric humidity and geopotential heights are typically sparser at lower and higher pressure levels, respectively. We provide evidence that these land-atmospheric states can be accurately estimated using a small set of measurements by taking advantage of their sparsity prior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • Earth remote sensing
  • compressed retrieval
  • compressive sensing
  • data assimilation
  • wavelet


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