AERONET is an optical ground-based aerosol monitoring network and data archive supported by NASA's Earth Observing System and expanded by federation with many non-NASA institutions including AEROCAN (AERONET CANada) and PHOTON (PHOtometrie pour le Traiteinent Operatonnel de Normalisation Satellitaire). The network hardware consists of identical automatic sun-sky scanning spectral radiometers owned by national agencies and universities purchased for their own monitoring and research objectives. Data are transmitted hourly through the data collection system (DCS) on board the geostationary meteorological satellites GMS, GOES and METEOSAT and received in a common archive for daily processing utilizing a peer reviewed series of algorithms thus imposing a standardization and quality control of the product data base. Data from this collaboration provides globally distributed near real time observations of aerosol spectral optical depths, aerosol size distributions, and precipitable water in diverse aerosol regimes. Access to the AERONET data base has shifted from the interactive program 'demonstrat' (reserved for PI's) to the AERONET homepage allowing faster access and greater development for GIS object oriented retrievals and analysis with companion geocoded data sets from satellites, LIDAR and solar flux measurements for example. We feel that a significant yet under utilized component of the AERONET data base are inversion products made from hourly principal plane and almucanter measurements. The current inversions have been shown to retrieve aerosol volume size distributions. A significant enhancement to the inversion code has been developed and is presented in these proceedings.
17-23 Jan. 1999; Meribel; France