Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer global aerosol product assessment by comparison with the Aerosol Robotic Network

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Abstract

[1] A statistical approach is used to assess the quality of the Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) version 22 (V22) aerosol products. Aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrieval results are improved relative to the early postlaunch values reported by [Kahn et al. (2005)], which varied with particle type category. Overall, about 70% to 75% of MISR AOD retrievals fall within 0.05 or 20% × AOD of the paired validation data from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET), and about 50% to 55% are within 0.03 or 10% × AERONET AOD, except at sites where dust or mixed dust and smoke are commonly found. Retrieved particle microphysical properties amount to categorical values, such as three size groupings: “small,” “medium,” and “large.” For particle size, ground-based AERONET sun photometer Angstrom exponents are used to assess statistically the corresponding MISR values, which are interpreted in terms of retrieved size categories. Coincident single-scattering albedo (SSA) and fraction AOD spherical data are too limited for statistical validation. V22 distinguishes two or three size bins, depending on aerosol type, and about two bins in SSA (absorbing vs. nonabsorbing), as well as spherical vs. nonspherical particles, under good retrieval conditions. Particle type sensitivity varies considerably with conditions and is diminished for midvisible AODs below about 0.15 or 0.2. On the basis of these results, specific algorithm upgrades are proposed and are being investigated by the MISR team for possible implementation in future versions of the product.

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