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Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET)
AEROSOL OPTICAL DEPTH AEROSOL INVERSIONS SOLAR FLUX OCEAN COLOR Maritime Aerosol Network
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The AERONET (AErosol RObotic NETwork) program 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, NEON, 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 AERONET - Ocean Color (AERONET-OC) is another component of the AERONET program, provides the additional capability of measuring the radiance emerging from the sea (i.e., normalized water-leaving radiance) with sun-photometers installed on offshore platforms like lighthouses, oceanographic and oil towers. Similarly, the Maritime Aerosol Network (MAN) component of the AERONET program provides ship-borne aerosol optical depth measurements from the Microtops II sun photometers. These instruments have been deployed periodically on ships of opportunity and research vessels to monitor aerosol properties over the World's Oceans. The Solar Radiation Network (SolRad-Net) provides high-frequency solar flux measurements and is collocated with AERONET sites.

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 website also provides AERONET-related news, a description of research and operational activities, data visualization, web services, related Earth Science links, and an AERONET staff directory.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

 
19 January 2024
AERONET Quarterly Newsletter - Vol. 1
 

    We are thrilled to release our inaugural newsletter that covers most of 2023, with each following edition being released on a quarterly basis. This past year was a very exciting one for our team, filled with productive meetings and workshops, instrument and data upgrades, an abundance of new sites, and improvements to our data exploration and data download tools.

    All newsletters will be stored in an archive found in the publications section of our webpage. In the future, we will explore ways to deliver the newsletter in a more user-friendly and interactive way, such as embedding it directly into an email with full button and hyperlink functionality. We appreciate your patience and support to the AERONET project!

 
17 January 2024
AERONET Instrumentation Upgrade
 

    AERONET is dedicated to high quality aerosol measurements around the world. One of the major reasons for AERONET success is standardization of instrumentation and calibration. Since 2016 CIMEL Electronique introduced a new version of the instruments deployed within AERONET: CE318-T Sun Sky Lunar photometer. This version has a number of advantages over the previous versions:

    1. Provides day (sun and sky) and night (moon) measurements.
    2. Implemented New Hybrid SKY scenario that assures more inversions of Volume Size Distribution (VSD) from sky measurements.
    3. More accurate SUN/MOON tracking with micro-stepping technology (0.003° resolution).
    4. Remotely upgradable firmware.
    5. No risk of data loss: unlimited internal memory.
    6. On-board GPS to provide exact position and time.
    7. 4-G modem for data transfer.
    8. Allows for more accurate calibration transfer (including sky).
    9. Continual support for parts and firmware modifications.
    10. Multi-spectral including UV channels (including sky).
    11. Possibility to use the instruments in mobile mode.

    Please note that older versions are not supported by CIMEL (both from parts and firmware). A lot of older version parts are obsolete and there is no way to add new measurements to the older version firmware. Calibration of the older versions is more labor intensive and time consuming. New developments within the network will not be transferable to the old versions.

    Based on this we STRONGLY encourage the owners of the older versions to upgrade them to CE318-T version.

    There are two options for the upgrade (contact CIMEL for details):

    1. Purchase a totally new instrument (preferred solution for all old versions)
    2. For digital versions (v5): replace sensor head, controller unit, and sensor head cable to bring the instrument to the same standards optically. Upgrade the robot at a later time.

    Sites within ACTRIS domain and directly funded to become ACTRIS national facilities are required to upgrade to CE318-T by 2025.

 
13 December 2023
AERONET Science and Application Exchange
 

    Mark your calendars! We are excited to announce the upcoming AERONET science and application exchange, to be held on Sep 17-19, 2024, in College Park, MD, USA. This will be an in-person meeting only.

    The exchange will bring together all AERONET partners and the data user community to discuss and collaborate on topics related to the AERONET system, data products, scientific development, instrument calibration, research, and application. We will have a mix of invited talks, contributed talks, and poster presentations, as well as ample opportunity for networking.

    More information will be released in January 2024. Stay tuned!

 
26 July 2023
AERONET Ocean Color Data Upgrade
 

    The AERONET-OC data (Normalized Water Leaving Radiance) procedure of raising from Level 1.5 to Level 2.0 changed starting on July 2023. Previously expert-based quality control procedure (Zibordi et al. 2021) was applied to the qualified data (with final calibration and corresponding Level 2 AOD). Now the automated quality control procedure (Zibordi et al. 2022) is applied to all data not formerly quality controlled by March 2022 and upcoming data.

    Zibordi, G., Holben, B. N., Talone, M., D'Alimonte, D., Slutsker, I., Giles, D. M., & Sorokin, M. G. (2021). Advances in the ocean color component of the aerosol robotic network (AERONET-OC). Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 38(4), 725-746.

    Zibordi, G., D'Alimonte, D., & Kajiyama, T. (2022). Automated Quality Control of AERONET-OC LWN Data. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 39(12), 1961-1972.

 
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Aerosol Optical Depths during 2023 Canadian Wildfires

The 2023 Canadian wildfires, which started at the beginning of March and peaked during the month of June, have released massive amounts of aerosols and gases in the atmosphere that darkened the skies of major cities in eastern North America, such as Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, and Montreal. The AERONET network in North America is monitoring and making continuous measurements of atmospheric aerosols, which can help understand their influence on local and regional air quality and their longer-term impact on climate. AERONET maintains a wide array of evenly distributed sun photometer sites with instruments that record optical depths and publish those measurements in near real-time. The animated map shows the daily average aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 500 nm from June 26th to July 2nd, 2023, measured across AERONET sites in the contiguous United States and southern Canada.

 

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Last Updated: January 19, 2024