Satellite Ocean Aerosol Retrieval (SOAR) Algorithm Extension to S-NPP VIIRS as...

Sayer, A. M., N. C. Hsu, J. Lee, C. Bettenhausen, W. Kim, and A. Smirnov (2017), Satellite Ocean Aerosol Retrieval (SOAR) Algorithm Extension to S-NPP VIIRS as Part of the “Deep Blue” Aerosol Project, J. Geophys. Res., 122, doi:10.1002/2017JD027412.

The Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite, launched in late 2011, carries the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and several other instruments. VIIRS has similar characteristics to prior satellite sensors used for aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrieval, allowing the continuation of space-based aerosol data records. The Deep Blue algorithm has previously been applied to retrieve AOD from Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measurements over land. The SeaWiFS Deep Blue data set also included a SeaWiFS Ocean Aerosol Retrieval (SOAR) algorithm to cover water surfaces. As part of NASA’s VIIRS data processing, Deep Blue is being applied to VIIRS data over land, and SOAR has been adapted from SeaWiFS to VIIRS for use over water surfaces. This study describes SOAR as applied in version 1 of NASA’s S-NPP VIIRS Deep Blue data product suite. Several advances have been made since the SeaWiFS application, as well as changes to make use of the broader spectral range of VIIRS. A preliminary validation against Maritime Aerosol Network (MAN) measurements suggests a typical uncertainty on retrieved 550 nm AOD of order ±(0.03+10%), comparable to existing SeaWiFS/MODIS aerosol data products. Retrieved Ångström exponent and fine-mode AOD fraction are also well correlated with MAN data, with small biases and uncertainty similar to or better than SeaWiFS/MODIS products. Plain Language Summary Aerosols are small particles in the atmosphere like desert dust, volcanic ash, smoke, industrial haze, and sea spray. Understanding them is important for applications such as hazard avoidance, air quality and human health, and climate studies. Satellite instruments provide an important tool to study aerosol loading over the world. However, individual satellites do not last forever and newer satellites often have improved capabilities compared to older ones. This paper describes and evaluates an extension of an algorithm, originally designed to monitor aerosols from an older satellite instrument, to a new satellite instrument called VIIRS.

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Research Program: 
Applied Sciences Program (ASP)
Atmospheric Composition
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)