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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2009-05-19
    Description: Five Microtops II sun photometers were studied in detail at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to determine their performance in measuring aerosol optical thickness (AOT or Tau(sub alphalambda) and precipitable column water vapor (W). Each derives Tau(sub alphalambda) from measured signals at four wavelengths lambda (340, 440, 675, and 870 nm), and W from the 936 nm signal measurements. Accuracy of Tau(sub alphalambda) and W determination depends on the reliability of the relevant channel calibration coefficient (V(sub 0)). Relative calibration by transfer of parameters from a more accurate sun photometer (such as the Mauna-Loa-calibrated AERONET master sun photometer at GSFC) is more reliable than Langley calibration performed at GSFC. It was found that the factory-determined value of the instrument constant for the 936 nm filter (k= 0.7847) used in the Microtops' internal algorithm is unrealistic, causing large errors in V(sub 0(936)), Tau(sub alpha936), and W. Thus, when applied for transfer calibration at GSFC, whereas the random variation of V(aub 0) at 340 to 870 nm is quite small, with coefficients of variation (CV) in the range of 0 to 2.4%, at 936 nm the CV goes up to 19%. Also, the systematic temporal variation of V(sub 0) at 340 to 870 nm is very slow, while at 936 nm it is large and exhibits a very high dependence on W. The algorithm also computes Tau(sub alpha936) as 0.91Tau(sub alpha870), which is highly simplistic. Therefore, it is recommended to determine Tau(sub alpha936) by logarithmic extrapolation from Tau(sub alpha675) and Tau(sub alpha 870. From the operational standpoint of the Microtops, apart from errors that may result from unperceived cloud contamination, the main sources of error include inaccurate pointing to the Sun, neglecting to clean the front quartz window, and neglecting to calibrate correctly. If these three issues are adequately taken care of, the Microtops can be quite accurate and stable, with root mean square (rms) differences between corresponding retrievals from clean calibrated Microtops and the AERONET sun photometer being about +/-0.02 at 340 nm, decreasing down to about +/-0.01 at 870 nm.
    Keywords: Instrumentation and Photography
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: This research uses the critical reflectance technique, a space-based remote sensing method, to measure the spatial distribution of aerosol absorption properties over land. Choosing two regions dominated by biomass burning aerosols, a series of sensitivity studies were undertaken to analyze the potential limitations of this method for the type of aerosol to be encountered in the selected study areas, and to show that the retrieved results are relatively insensitive to uncertainties in the assumptions used in the retrieval of smoke aerosol. The critical reflectance technique is then applied to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) data to retrieve the spectral aerosol single scattering albedo (SSA) in South African and South American 35 biomass burning events. The retrieved results were validated with collocated Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) retrievals. One standard deviation of mean MODIS retrievals match AERONET products to within 0.03, the magnitude of the AERONET uncertainty. The overlap of the two retrievals increases to 88%, allowing for measurement variance in the MODIS retrievals as well. The ensemble average of MODIS-derived SSA for the Amazon forest station is 0.92 at 670 nm, and 0.84-0.89 for the southern African savanna stations. The critical reflectance technique allows evaluation of the spatial variability of SSA, and shows that SSA in South America exhibits higher spatial variation than in South Africa. The accuracy of the retrieved aerosol SSA from MODIS data indicates that this product can help to better understand 44 how aerosols affect the regional and global climate.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
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  • 3
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