Investigating Methods for Nighttime Aerosol Optical Depth Retrieval Using the VIIRS Day/Night Band

Friday, 19 December 2014
Theodore M McHardy1, Jianglong Zhang1, Jeffrey S. Reid2 and Edward J. Hyer2, (1)University of North Dakota, Atmospheric Sceinces, Grand Forks, ND, United States, (2)Naval Research Laboratory, Marine Meteorology Division, Monterey, CA, United States
Most of the existing aerosol sensitive passive sensors focus on detecting day time aerosol properties. The Visible/Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) contains a Day/Night Band (DNB) which is capable of remote sensing of aerosol signals at night. This brings an opportunity for studying nighttime aerosol optical properties at a high spatial and temporal resolution. Using VIIRS DNB data, several methods are developed for retrieving aerosol optical depth values over regions with artificial city lights. These methods are based on changes in diffuse scattering of artificial light due to particles in the atmosphere. The first method compares average radiance values of artificial light sources against that of nearby dark pixels. The second method examines the dispersion of radiance values above an artificial light source. The strengths and weaknesses of each method are investigated over selected artificial city light sources that are within close proximity to Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sites. This study suggests that nighttime retrievals of aerosol properties at high spatial and temporal resolution using the VIIRS DNB may be viable in the future.