11th Conference on Atmospheric Radiation and the 11th Conference on Cloud Physics

Thursday, 6 June 2002: 9:00 AM
Statistical Patterns in Aerosol Retrievals From NOAA/AVHRR and TRMM/VIRS
Alexander Ignatov, NOAA/NESDIS/ORA, Camp Springs, MD; and I. Laszlo and N. Nalli
Poster PDF (451.4 kB)
Aerosol retrievals are made operationally at NOAA/NESDIS from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) onboard the afternoon National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites, and experimentally at NASA/Langley Research Center from the Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) onboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. The two radiometers are nearly identical in their scanning geometry, and the relative simplicity of the measurement scheme. In particular, both instruments have only two spectral channels (out of total five), useful for aerosol studies. These are centered at l1=0.63 and l2=0.83 mm for AVHRR/2, and l1=0.63 and l2=1.61 mm for VIRS. The two parameters being retrieved are aerosol optical depth in the two channels, t1 and t2, and Angstrom exponent derived therefrom as a=-ln(t1/t2)/ln(l1/l1).

This paper describes recent status of the retrievals, and remaining problems. The emphasis is on the statistical analyses of large volumes of satellite data. Satellite retrievals are quality controlled, and examined if physically realistic and self-consistent. Retrievals of t1 and t2 are checked if spectrally coherent. Retrievals of a are tested if reveal a 1/t trend, and increase in scatter, indicative of systematic and random errors, respectively. Probability distribution functions are shown to be log-normal for t1 and t2, and normal for a. Parameters of the respective fits in the VIRS and AVHRR data are compared. Information content of satellite-derived size parameter, a, is analyzed by introducing a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), h. The SNR is shown to be well approximated as h~t/to. The critical values of to, at which signal in a is comparable to its noise, are compared for the two different sensors.

Supplementary URL: http://orbit-net.nesdis.noaa.gov:80/crad/sat/atm/aerosol/ignatov/index.html