Retrieval of Non-Spherical Dust Aerosol Properties from Satellite Observations
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An accurate and generalized global retrieval algorithm from satellite observations is a prerequisite to understand the radiative effect of atmospheric aerosols on the climate system. Current operational aerosol retrieval algorithms are limited by the inversion schemes and suffering from the non-uniqueness problem. In order to solve these issues, a new algorithm is developed for the retrieval of non-spherical dust aerosol over land using multi-angular radiance and polarized measurements of the POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of the Earth’s Reflectances) and wide spectral high-resolution measurements of the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer). As the first step to account for the non-sphericity of irregularly shaped dust aerosols in the light scattering problem, the spheroidal model is introduced. To solve the basic electromagnetic wave scattering problem by a single spheroid, we developed an algorithm, by transforming the transcendental infinite-continued-fraction-formeigen equation into a symmetric tri-diagonal linear system, for the calculation of the spheroidal angle function, radial functions of the first and second kind, as well as the corresponding first order derivatives. A database is developed subsequently to calculate the bulk scattering properties of dust aerosols for each channel of the satellite instruments. For the purpose of simulation of satellite observations, a code is developed to solve the VRTE (Vector Radiative Transfer Equation) for the coupled atmosphere-surface system using the adding-doubling technique. An alternative fast algorithm, where all the solid angle integrals are converted to summations on an icosahedral grid, is also proposed to speed-up the code. To make the model applicable to various land and ocean surfaces, a surface BRDF (Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function) library is embedded into the code. Considering the complimentary features of the MODIS and the POLDER, the collocated measurements of these two satellites are used in the retrieval process. To reduce the time spent on the simulation of dust aerosol scattering properties, a single-scattering property database of tri-axial ellipsoid is incorporated. In addition, atmospheric molecule correction is considered using the LBLRTM (Line-By-Line Ra- diative Transfer Model). The Levenberg-Marquardt method was employed to retrieve all the interested dust aerosol parameters and surface parameters simultaneously. As an example, dust aerosol properties retrieved over the Sahara Desert are presented.
Spheroidal wave functions
Huang, Xin (2013). Retrieval of Non-Spherical Dust Aerosol Properties from Satellite Observations. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from