The Ocean Color component of the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET-OC) has been implemented to support long-term satellite ocean color investigations through cross-site consistent and accurate measurements collected by autonomous radiometer systems deployed on offshore fixed platforms. The ultimate purpose of AERONET-OC is the production of standardized measurements performed at different sites with identical measuring systems and protocols, calibrated using a single reference source and method, and processed with the same code. The AERONET-OC primary data product is the normalized water leaving radiance determined at center-wavelengths of interest for satellite ocean color applications, with an uncertainty lower than 5% in the blue-green spectral regions and higher than 8% in the red. Measurements collected at 6 sites counting the northern Adriatic Sea, the Baltic Proper, the Gulf of Finland, the Persian Gulf, and, the northern and southern margins of the Middle Atlantic Bay, have shown the capability of producing quality assured data over a wide range of bio-optical conditions including Case-2 yellow substance- and sedimentdominated waters. This work briefly introduces network elements like: deployment sites, measurement method, instrument calibration, processing scheme, quality-assurance, uncertainties, data archive and products accessibility. Emphases is given to those elements which underline the network strengths (i.e., mostly standardization of any network element) and its weaknesses (i.e., the use of consolidated, but old-fashioned technology). The work also addresses the application of AERONET-OC data to the validation of primary satellite radiometric products over a variety of complex coastal waters and finally provides elements for the identification of new deployment sites most suitable to support satellite ocean color missions.
Ocean Optics 19th; Oct 06, 2008 - Oct 10, 2008; Tuscany; Italy