The AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) project is a federation of ground-based remote sensing aerosol networks established by NASA and PHOTONS (PHOtométrie pour le Traitement Opérationnel de Normalisation Satellitaire; Univ. of Lille 1, CNES, and CNRS-INSU) and is greatly expanded by networks (e.g., RIMA, AeroSpan, AEROCAN, and CARSNET) and collaborators from national agencies, institutes, universities, individual scientists, and partners. For more than 25 years, the project has provided long-term, continuous and readily accessible public domain database of aerosol optical, microphysical and radiative properties for aerosol research and characterization, validation of satellite retrievals, and synergism with other databases. The network imposes standardization of instruments, calibration, processing and distribution.
AERONET collaboration provides globally distributed observations of spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD), inversion products, and precipitable water in diverse aerosol regimes. Version 3 AOD data are computed for three data quality levels: Level 1.0 (unscreened), Level 1.5 (cloud-screened and quality controlled), and Level 2.0 (quality-assured). Inversions, precipitable water, and other AOD-dependent products are derived from these levels and may implement additional quality checks.
The processing algorithms have evolved from Version 1.0 to Version 2.0 and now Version 3.0. The Version 3 databases are available from the AERONET and PHOTONS web sites. Version 2 data may be downloaded from the web site through 2018 and thereafter upon special request. New AERONET products will be released as new measurement techniques and algorithms are adopted and validated by the AERONET research community. The AERONET web site also provides AERONET-related news, a description of research and operational activities, related Earth Science links, and an AERONET staff directory.
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