Clouds play an important role in the global energy budget, and understanding the interplay with clouds and precipitation has been a challenge for the climate modeling community. The ability to tie cloud and precipitation processes together is a fundamental goal of the Aerosol, Clouds, Convection, and Precipitation (ACCP) Designated Observable that is currently being studied for a proposed launch within the next decade. Active (radars) and passive (radiometers) microwave sensors will play a vital role in any conceived architecture. An important component for interpreting microwave observations is the sensor forward model, and key to achieving successful multi-frequency and multi-sensor retrievals is consistency across sensor types and bands. At NASA GSFC, we have developed and implemented a unique set of tools for simulating such observations for the purpose of studying phenomenology, developing appropriate parameterizations, and supporting geophysical retrievals. Core to this Atmospheric Radiative Transfer Simulator (ARTS), and open-source suite of radiative transfer tools developed by Chalmers and the University of Hamburg with contributions from across the community. Another integral piece is the particle scattering library that facilitates accurate simulations across a wide range of frequencies and for both passive and active instruments. Finally, measurements from field campaigns allow us to assess our modeling framework. Results will be put into the context of ACCP objectives.
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