The BOREAS Information System
Remote Sensing Science (RSS)

RSS-11: Characterization of Atmospheric Optical Properties for BOREAS

P.I.(s): Brian L. Markham, Brent N. Holben -- NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Co-I(s): Yoram J. Kaufman -- NASA/GSFC; Rangasayi Halthore, Tom Eck -- Hughes STX Corp.; Eric Vermote -- Univ. of Maryland

Objectives: To characterize the physical and optical properties of the atmospheric aerosol and the atmospheric column abundance's of water vapor and ozone over the BOREAS study area. A network of three to four fully three to four fully automatic sunphotometers/radiometers was established on a transect connecting the northern and southern BOREAS sites. These sites provided hourly direct solar and diffuse sky radiance measurements in the solar almucantar in the visible to near-infrared. During the intensive field campaigns the measurements were supplemented by additional movable stations and sampling of the aerosol particles. Aerosol physical properties of size distribution/concentration and composition, and aerosol optical properties of optical depth, phase function and albedo of single scattering were also determined. The annual cycle of the concentration and properties of the atmospheric aerosol particles in the Boreal region and the relation between the aerosol properties and the meteorological conditions, in particular the air trajectory and origin, is being assessed. The measured atmospheric properties are being used to validate retrieval algorithms of atmospheric parameters (e.g., water vapor, aerosol optical depths) from remotely sensed data. For selected remotely sensed data, atmospheric corrections are being performed using a radiative transfer code that accounts for the non-Lambertian forest canopy reflectance. The retrieved reflectances are being compared to those measured at the surface and to those obtained using the atmospheric correction methodology used operationally by the BOREAS project.

RSS-11 Pictures

The sun photometer at SSA-YJP (with RSS-11)

RSS-11 Data Sets

  • Optical Thickness (automatic stations)
  • Optical Thickness (handheld values)

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    RSS-11 BOREAS Operations 1994

    Characterization of the aerosol optical properties over BOREAS.

    Data Collected:
    Direct sun and sky radiance measurements in the almucanter and principal plane.

    Data Products:
    Aerosol optical thickness, precipitable water column abundances, aerosol size distribution and scattering phase function.

    Cimel 318 automatic tracking sun photometers (5), 4 channel hand held (Miami) sun photometers (2).

    Data Collection Summary
    Cimel Instrument Site Data Acquisition Period Significant Data Gaps/Reason Degraded Data Periods/Reason
    6 Prince Albert Airport 5/26/94 - 6/5/94
    7/20/94 - 7/26/94
    9/12/94 - 9/18/94
    Reduced data collection -- azimuth drive intermittent failure (5/26/94 - 6/5/94 ) 440 nm poor calibration (IFC-1), no 380 nm channel (all dates)
    6 Thompson Airport 6/7/94 - 6/13/94
    7/27/94 - 9/11/94
    Reduced data collection -- azimuth drive failure (6/7/94 - 6/13/94) 440 nm poor calibration (IFC-1), no 380 nm channel (all dates)
    11 NSA-YJP 5/16/94 - 10/25/94 5/24 - 5/30 Communication failure-
    6/5 - 6/7 Transmitter failure-
    8/5 - 8/8 Sunphoto battery failure-
    8/9 - 8/13 Sunphoto battery failure-
    -6/26 - 7/4 partial aperture obstruction -- recalibrated with on-site Langley
    12 Flin Flon 5/19/94 - 10/24/94 9/21 - 9/25 Transmitter failure-
    10/9 - 10/12 Transmitter failure-
    ~7/9 - 8/15 aureole gain setting erratic-

    Miami Instrument Site Data Acquisition Period Significant Data Gaps/Reason Degraded Data Periods/Reason
    317/319 Thompson 12/1/93 - 12/31/94 - ~7/15/94-present -increased signal variability particularly channels 3 and 4 due to filter positioning error
    322 Waskesiu 6/15/93 - 12/31/94 limited data acquisition late fall 1993 to early spring 1994 -

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    Last Updated: October 24, 1997