Articles | Volume 6, issue 5
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 1245–1255, 2013
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 1245–1255, 2013

Research article 14 May 2013

Research article | 14 May 2013

Preliminary investigations toward nighttime aerosol optical depth retrievals from the VIIRS Day/Night Band

R. S. Johnson1, J. Zhang1, E. J. Hyer2, S. D. Miller3, and J. S. Reid2 R. S. Johnson et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA
  • 2Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA, USA
  • 3Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

Abstract. A great need exists for reliable nighttime aerosol products at high spatial and temporal resolution. In this concept demonstration study, using Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) observations on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite, a new method is proposed for retrieving nighttime aerosol optical depth (τ) using the contrast between regions with and without artificial surface lights. Evaluation of the retrieved τ values against daytime AERONET data from before and after the overpass of the VIIRS satellite over the Cape Verde, Grand Forks, and Alta Floresta AERONET stations yields a coefficient of determination (r2) of 0.71. This study suggests that the VIIRS DNB has the potential to provide useful nighttime aerosol detection and property retrievals.