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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-424
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-424
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 17 Dec 2018

Research article | 17 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Characterization and application of artificial light sources for nighttime aerosol optical depth retrievals using the VIIRS Day/Night Band

Jianglong Zhang1, Shawn L. Jaker1, Jeffrey S. Reid2, Steven D. Miller3, Jeremy Solbrig3, and Travis D. Toth4 Jianglong Zhang et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA
  • 2Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA
  • 3Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • 4NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA

Abstract. Using nighttime observations from Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night band (DNB), the characteristics of artificial light sources are evaluated as functions of observation conditions and incremental improvements are documented on nighttime aerosol retrievals using VIIRS DNB data on a regional scale. We find that the standard deviation of instantaneous radiance for a given artificial light source is strongly dependent upon the satellite viewing angle, but is weakly dependent on lunar fraction and lunar angle. Retrieval of nighttime aerosol optical thickness (AOT) based on the novel use of these artificial light sources is demonstrated for three selected regions (United States, Middle East, and India) during 2015. Reasonable agreements are found between nighttime AOTs from VIIRS DNB and temporally adjacent daytime AOTs from AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) as well as from coincident nighttime AOT retrievals from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP), indicating the potential of this method to begin filling critical gaps in diurnal AOT information at both regional and global scales. Issues related to cloud, snow, and ice contamination during the winter season, as well as data loss due to the misclassification of thick aerosol plumes as clouds, must be addressed to make the algorithm operationally robust.

Jianglong Zhang et al.
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Using nighttime observations from Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night band (DNB), the characteristics of artificial light sources are evaluated as functions of observation conditions, and incremental improvements are documented on nighttime aerosol retrievals using VIIRS DNB data on a regional scale. Results from the study indicate the potential of this method to begin filling critical gaps in diurnal AOT information at both regional and global scales.
Using nighttime observations from Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night...
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