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2004 United Arab Emirates Unified Aerosol Experiment (UAE2)

Recent reports and various satellite data show that the Arabian Gulf region is one of the largest confluences of aerosol types in the world. Emissions, smoke transported from the Indian subcontinent, and natural dust episodes result in a unique aerosol laboratory. To further complicate the intricate consortium of aerosols in this region, the Arabian Gulf also has an exceedingly complex meteorology which include variable sea surface temperatures, enormous latent heat fluxes, strong land sea gradients, and strong mesoscale circulations. These factors combined make the Arabian Gulf a challenge to our models and satellite sensors to carry out environmental monitoring. NASA, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Department of Water Resources Studies, and 20 other US and foreign research laboratories have embarked on a measurement campaign, Unified Aerosol Experiment * United Arab Emirates, (UAE2), to gain insight on the properties and concentrations of aerosols in the gulf region and understand how these aerosols might affect climate change. To accomplish this task, 15 Aerosol Robotic Network Sun Photometers (AERONET), the NRL Mobile Atmospheric Aerosol And Radiation Characterization (MAARCO), and the GSFC Surface-sensing Measurements for Atmospheric Radiative Transfer (SMART) will be deployed and utilized in the gulf, coast, and desert region of the UAE. Airborne in situ and remote sensors will underfly satellite overpasses to provide essential information to the remote sensing and meteorological modeling communities. The ultimate goals of the UAE2 campaign are to (1) evaluate and improve the suite of satellite aerosol and ocean products frequently used by the scientific community in this region of the world, (2) determine the fundamental microphysical, optical and transport properties of aerosol properties in this region, (3) understand how aerosol particles interact with the regional radiation budget in bright surfaced locations, (4) and to model and explain the complicated flow patterns in the costal regions of the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Data (Top)

Data Browser

Meetings and Reports (Top)


+ A Summary of First Year Activities of the United Arab Emirates Unified Aerosol Experiment: UAE2 - August 2005 (PDF)

UAE Flight Planning Meetings


Rationale (Top)
Proposed United Arab Emirates Campaign Activities (Power Point):
  • UAE Pre-Proposal - A Pre-Proposal for Aerosol Science Investigations in the United Arab Emirates (PDF)
  • AERONET - Aerosol Robotic Network (PowerPoint)
  • CAR - Cloud Absorption Radiometer (PowerPoint)
  • MAARCO - Mobile Atmospheric Aerosol and Radiation Characterization Observatory (PowerPoint)
Department of Water Resources Studies (United Arab Emirates Campaign Sponsor)
Objectives (Top)

1.0 Satellite Calibration/Validation

  • Perform fundamental over water optical depth algorithm validation for MODIS, MISR, SeaWiFs, ATSR, & AVHRR under mixed (i.e., bi and tri-modal) aerosol conditions.
  • For over bright surface/desert areas evaluate Hsu et al., [2004] “Deep Blue” and Miller et al., [2003] significant dust product and new MISR aerosol algorithms.
  • Perform primary validation of high-resolution aerosol retrieval methods.
  • Evaluate MISR aerosol height algorithms.
  • Validate ocean leaving radiance and ocean color algorithms
  • Evaluate sea surface temperature algorithms and determine the relative bias dust particle induce in products.
  • Evaluate aerosol inversion algorithms.
  • Estimate land surface microwave emissivity.
  • Evaluate and improve passive microwave temperature and ground moisture inversions.
  • Over longer periods, evaluate GLAS systems.

 2.0 Radiation and Energetics

  • Measure water leaving radiance, BRDF and desert/ocean albedo.
  • Measure, for the first time, UV through infrared sky radiance for retrievals of particle size distribution, single scattering albedo and complex index of refraction.
  • Generate 3-dimensional radiation fields using combined AERONET, CAR and flux radiometers.
  • Intercompare the CAR and AERONET aerosol retrievals.
  • Measure the shortwave forcing efficiency of aerosol particles in this region.
  • Model longwave forcing by aerosol particles.
  • Using lidar, AERONET, and satellite, develop algorithms that can determine the vertical distribution of extinction.
  • What is the atmospheric diabatic heating rate as a function of aerosol loading?
  • Do aerosol radiative effects make an appreciable difference to the Arabian Gulf ’s sensible and latent heat fluxes?
  • Combined analysis above to determine the energetics of the region.

 3.0 Aerosol Microphysics and Chemistry

  • Determine the size-dependant vertical distribution of aerosol particles.
  • Understand how the microphysics and chemistry of the dust varies from the many sources that impact the Arabian Gulf region (e.g., Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc...)?
  • Determine the basic chemical constituents of Arabian Gulf pollution.
  • Measure the spectral mass scattering and absorption efficiencies of the dust and pollution of the region (UV to IR).
  • Measure the spectral phase function of dust and haze.
  • Determine if the hygroscopic growth properties of aerosol particles in the region differ greatly from other ‘anthropogenic” pollution owing to the presence of more organic species?

 4.0 Meteorology and Aerosol Transport

  • Determine the temporal and spatial scales of aerosol and meteorological features in this region
  • Validate meteorology and aerosol transport model forecasts such as those from NOGAPS, NAAPS, COAMPS, and GOCART.
  • Understand the development of land and sea breeze circulations and the sensitivity of these phenomena to surface properties and processes. Evaluate forecasts of these features.
  • Explain the vertical distribution of aerosols relative to the PBL, MBL, and other meteorological features.
  • Evaluate the significance of local, fine-scale phenomena, such as the sharp inversion in the lowest 300 meters of the atmosphere. Can COAMPS even track small changes in inversion height?
  • Compare the aerosol direct heating and flux perturbations with the other diabatic heating and sensible and latent heat flux perturbations. Evaluate the importance of aerosol heating to accurate forecasts.
  • Estimate the impact of aerosols on the regional climate.

 5.0 Evaluation

  • Build a realistic regional aerosol model/library for use in aerosol modles and retrieval algorithms.
  • Develop a comprehensive receptor validation set suitable for any meteorology or aerosol transport models.
  • Perform the first ever-complete evaluation of aerosol and radiative properties for this region.
  • What are the relative contributions of local versus long range sources to the region’s dust, pollution and radiative properties?
Satellite (Top)


Maps (Top)


UAE Aviation Map
+ Small (~181K)
+ Large (~4MB)

+ AATSR Coverage Map for UAE2 (PDF)
+ UAE Region Map + Abu Dhabi City Map
+ UAE Region Map 2 + Abu Dhabi City Street Map
+ Dubai City Map  


AERONET UAE Photographs and Site Information

Red circles indicate the site information and photographs are available for the site.

Available AERONET sites overlayed on a United Arab Emirates aviation map to view AERONET site information


Contacts (Top)


US Contacts UAE Contacts
Jeffery S. Reid (NRL) Abdulla Al Mangoosh (Director, DWRS)
Hal B. Maring (NASA) Major Abdulla Al Mandoos (Deputy Director, DWRS)
Charles Gatebe (NASA) Ibrahim Karam (Head of Technical Staff, DWRS)
Michael D. King (NASA) Maha Al Fahim (DWRS Coordinator)
Brent N. Holben (NASA) Michal Qudsi (Public Relations)
Stuart Piketh (University of Witwatersrand) Khalid Al Zeraihi


[an error occurred while processing this directive] January 15, 2015