Impact of aerosols on scene collection and scene correction
Quinn, Kevin M.
Durkee, Philip A.
Jordan, Mary S.
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Airborne aerosols contaminate satellite imagery, making it difficult for analysts to characterize surface targets. The amount of contamination is due to aerosol loading, best quantified by aerosol optical depth (AOD). Level 2 AERONET data provides "ground truth" AOD measurements. Unfortunately, targets are not likely to be near an AERONET station. This thesis examines two methods of quantifying AOD in lieu of AERONET data: Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) AOD retrievals and Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System (NAAPS) AOD forecasts (with MODIS data assimilation). Over the Persian Gulf and Japan, MODIS accurately retrieved AOD at 0.55m wavelength. MODIS may have accurately retrieved AOD over Korea, but uncertainty in the retrieval was high due to a small sample size. Over West Africa, MODIS underestimated AOD. Over the Persian Gulf and Japan, NAAPS accurately estimated AOD at 0.55m. Over Korea, the model displayed mixed results. Finally, over West Africa, NAAPS tended to underestimate AOD.