Automating the shadow method for aerosol optical depth retrieval
Dombrock, Ryan M.
Nielsen, K. E.
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A new method for remote sensing retrieval of Aerosol Optical Depth was proposed and investigated by Vincent (2006). This shadow-based method uses the radiance difference between shadow and non-shadow regions in QuickBird high resolution commercial satellite imagery to estimate Aerosol Optical Depth. Though the process is initially time-consuming, requiring a high level of user knowledge to accomplish the procedure, great potential exists for further development into a stand-alone operational method for overland retrievals at any location and time. It is the automation of this process in order to make it more operational in nature that is the purpose of this investigation. Knowledge is gained in the realm of predicting shadow location for future times. Specific process automation is applied through computer programming to decrease the computational complexity of the method. Also the physical variations of shadow regions are investigated in terms of their brightness change across various spatial profiles. This study of shadow region variation is termed shadow morphology and seeks to provide a user with optimum radiance sampling regions within an observed shadow region. Through the integration of these automation techniques, a more unified and operationally focused iteration of the shadow method is derived.
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