Aerosol retrieval from twilight photographs taken by a digital camera

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Masanori Saito and Hironobu Iwabuchi, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Twilight sky, one of the most beautiful sights seen in our daily life, varies day by day, because atmospheric components such as ozone and aerosols also varies day by day. Recent studies have revealed the effects of tropospheric aerosols on twilight sky. In this study, we develop a new algorithm for aerosol retrievals from twilight photographs taken by a digital single reflex-lens camera in solar zenith angle of 90–96˚ with interval of 1˚. A radiative transfer model taking spherical-shell atmosphere, multiple scattering and refraction into account is used as a forward model, and the optimal estimation is used as an inversion calculation to infer the aerosol optical and radiative properties. The sensitivity tests show that tropospheric (stratospheric) aerosol optical thickness is responsible to the distribution of twilight sky color and brightness near the horizon (in viewing angles of 10˚ to 20˚) and aerosol size distribution is responsible to the angular distribution of brightness near the solar direction. The AOTs are inferred with small uncertainties and agree very well with that from the Skyradiometer. In this conference, several case studies using the algorithm will be shown.