Aerosol measurement observations from ground-based sun photometers and sun/sky radiometers have played a critical role in developing, reformulating and validating satellite algorithms to characterize aerosol optical depth, modal aerosol retrievals and single scattering albedo among other parameters. New and improved algorithms are being developed for current and future satellite missions that will place a greater demand on the accuracy and fidelity of the ground-based measurements for validation, multi data set synergism and long-term climate research. Heretofore satellite validation studies using sun, moon, and sky scanning spectral radiometer measurements such as AERONET have relied on point observations extrapolated to a two dimensional domain to compare to the satellite retrieval. Additionally few of the ground-based remote sensing measurements have had a rigorous comparison or validation against other ground-based measurements particularly in situ observations of aerosol size and absorption. DRAGON-FIREX-AQ will provide a data set to address satellite validation and in situ comparisons.