Articles | Volume 6, issue 5
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. Johnson, J. Zhang, E. J. Hyer, S. D. Miller, and J. S. Reid

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.