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STAR / SMCD / EMB Aerosol Remote Sensing

NESDIS Aerosol Products: AVHRR

NOAA/NESDIS has been routinely estimating aerosol amount over the world's oceans from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) onboard the NOAA polar orbiting operational satellites. The products are daily, weekly, and monthly global one-degree maps of Aerosol Optical Thickness. The weekly products are based on a composite of one week's worth of data, and the monthly mean products are based on the average of each week's data for the month. Currently they are created from AVHRR channel 1, 2 and 3 optical thickness retrievals from AVHRR 4-km global area coverage (GAC) data. The figure below displays the latest image of the aerosol optical thickness, while the table below the image summarizes the main features of the product.

Latest AOD image

Characteristics of NOAA/NESDIS AVHRR aerosol product
Satellite: NOAA
Instrument(s): AVHRR
Instrument/algorithm PI: I. Laszlo and A. Ignatov, NOAA
Contact details: Istvan Laszlo; Istvan.Laszlo at
Parameter(s): aerosol optical thickness
Aerosol algorithm: AEROBS
Cloud screening: CLAVR/CLAVR-x
Aerosol model: non-absorbing w. monomodal lognormal size distribution
Retrieval assumptions: ocean reflectance is accurately calculated
Retrieval limitations: glint area (<40° glint angle) & solar side of orbit are excluded;
View and solar zenith angles >60° are excluded
Spatial, temporal coverage: global oceans, 1988 onward
Spatial, temporal resolution: 8 km/daily, 110 km analysis/day/week, month
Operations status: operational / reprocessing
Validation status: AERONET & other satellite inter-comparison studies
Quality control: self- and inter-consistency checks
Last algorithm version: third-generation algorithm (09/2000)
Product format description:
Algorithm description: Ignatov, Alexander, John Sapper, Stephen Cox, Istvan Laszlo, Nicholas R. Nalli, Katherine B. Kidwell, 2004: Operational Aerosol Observations (AEROBS) from AVHRR/3 On Board NOAA-KLM Satellites. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 21, 3-26.