Abstract

The performance of a FieldSpec spectroradiometer for retrieving aerosol optical depth (AOD) has been assessed after modifying its basic configuration in order to measure direct solar irradiance at ground level. The FieldSpec measurements were obtained during four summertime days in the years 2004 and 2005, over a Spanish agricultural site in Barrax, Albacete (30°3N, 2°6W, 700m a.s.l.), in the framework of two European Space Agency mission remote sensing field campaigns. From the whole FieldSpec spectral domain (3502500nm) the AOD was extracted for channels within atmospheric windows. The instrument was calibrated by means of the standard Langley plot method, performed at a high mountain site in Italy. The AOD retrieved by the FieldSpec has been validated by comparison with the AOD obtained from a colocated CIMEL CE318 Sun photometer. The FieldSpec AOD spectra were convoluted with the CE318 filter transmission functions in order to make both datasets comparable. Our results show that both datasets are very similar (R2 around 0.9) for all the channels from the CE318, with an average deviation of about 0.02. The temporal evolution of the AOD was accurately monitored by the FieldSpec under different atmospheric conditions, as was the case for a previously reported mineral dust intrusion. As a conclusion, the comparison performed in this study shows that the FieldSpec spectroradiometer is a suitable instrument for retrieving the AOD in different atmospheric situations.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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