Articles | Volume 4, issue 5
Research article
16 May 2011
Research article |  | 16 May 2011

Surface solar irradiance from SCIAMACHY measurements: algorithm and validation

P. Wang, P. Stammes, and R. Mueller

Abstract. Broadband surface solar irradiances (SSI) are, for the first time, derived from SCIAMACHY (SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CartograpHY) satellite measurements. The retrieval algorithm, called FRESCO (Fast REtrieval Scheme for Clouds from the Oxygen A band) SSI, is similar to the Heliosat method. In contrast to the standard Heliosat method, the cloud index is replaced by the effective cloud fraction derived from the FRESCO cloud algorithm. The MAGIC (Mesoscale Atmospheric Global Irradiance Code) algorithm is used to calculate clear-sky SSI. The SCIAMACHY SSI product is validated against globally distributed BSRN (Baseline Surface Radiation Network) measurements and compared with ISCCP-FD (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Flux Dataset) surface shortwave downwelling fluxes (SDF). For one year of data in 2008, the mean difference between the instantaneous SCIAMACHY SSI and the hourly mean BSRN global irradiances is −4 W m−2 (−1 %) with a standard deviation of 101 W m−2 (20 %). The mean difference between the globally monthly mean SCIAMACHY SSI and ISCCP-FD SDF is less than −12 W m−2 (−2 %) for every month in 2006 and the standard deviation is 62 W m−2 (12 %). The correlation coefficient is 0.93 between SCIAMACHY SSI and BSRN global irradiances and is greater than 0.96 between SCIAMACHY SSI and ISCCP-FD SDF. The evaluation results suggest that the SCIAMACHY SSI product achieves similar mean bias error and root mean square error as the surface solar irradiances derived from polar orbiting satellites with higher spatial resolution.