Related Research Areas
Atmospheric Composition

The Aerosol Polarization Sensor (APS) on board Glory is expected to provide unprecedented accuracy in the retrieval of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and more importantly the retrieval of aerosol particle properties. The availability of detailed aerosol properties is the key to narrowing the uncertainties associated with aerosol forcing of climate. Here we assess the information content of the APS observations by evaluating both AOD retrievals and the retrieval of aerosol particle properties via comparisons to well-calibrated existing ground-based sensors (e.g., AERONET and a Polarized Imaging Nephelometer - PI-Neph.) We envision a focused measurement strategy based on an APS single footprint, instrumented with the PI-Neph, a filter collection system for measurements of spectral absorption efficiency from the UV to the near-IR, an AERONET instrument, and in situ measurements of particle chemistry. Combined with moderate resolution satellite imagers such as MODIS and lidar measurements from CALIOP on CALIPSO, we have a comprehensive and complementary set of measurements to test APS assumptions, validate retrievals of both AOD and the more novel microphysical parameters and complement the APS retrievals. The complementary nature of the different measurements can be used to investigate how humidification and cloud contamination affect APS retrievals, and how these processes affect final calculations of aerosol radiative forcing at these spots. We intend to provide a benchmark for calculations of direct aerosol radiative forcing at the top, bottom and within the atmospheric column with a comprehensive and complementary set of measures of aerosol characterization. With the APS single pixel swath any ground station benefit to APS products will require careful geographical placement. For example, exactly zero existing AERONET stations are located in the Glory APS day time swath, if that swath were to be approximated by today’s CALIPSO ground track. Collocating APS retrievals with ground-truth, even AOD, will require moving instrumentation into the Glory ground track. We intend to leverage against our collaboration and participation in AEROCLIMA, a Brazilian funded multi-year aerosol study in the Amazon and Pantanal to provide these measurements with a minimum of cost to NASA. The final result of this work will be characterization of 10 to 12 Brazilian aerosol situations with varying aerosol types and amounts, cloud characteristics and surface types that are highly characterized: optically, physically and chemically. The redundancy and complementary nature of the measurements will allow exploration of the effects of humidity and clouds on the standard APS aerosol retrievals, on APS-based estimates of aerosol radiative forcing, and on other sensor’s approaches to direct aerosol radiative forcing over land.

Project PI: Lorraine Remer/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Phone: (301)614-6194

Fax: (301)614-6307



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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011


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