Articles | Volume 16, issue 1
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 177–193, 2016

Special issue: Meso-scale aerosol processes, comparison and validation studies...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 177–193, 2016

Research article 18 Jan 2016

Research article | 18 Jan 2016

An optimal-estimation-based aerosol retrieval algorithm using OMI near-UV observations

U. Jeong1, J. Kim1, C. Ahn2, O. Torres3, X. Liu4, P. K. Bhartia3, R. J. D. Spurr5, D. Haffner3, K. Chance4, and B. N. Holben3 U. Jeong et al.
  • 1Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, USA
  • 3Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
  • 4Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 5RT Solutions, Inc., 9 Channing Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Abstract. An optimal-estimation(OE)-based aerosol retrieval algorithm using the OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) near-ultraviolet observation was developed in this study. The OE-based algorithm has the merit of providing useful estimates of errors simultaneously with the inversion products. Furthermore, instead of using the traditional look-up tables for inversion, it performs online radiative transfer calculations with the VLIDORT (linearized pseudo-spherical vector discrete ordinate radiative transfer code) to eliminate interpolation errors and improve stability. The measurements and inversion products of the Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observation Network campaign in northeast Asia (DRAGON NE-Asia 2012) were used to validate the retrieved aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and single scattering albedo (SSA). The retrieved AOT and SSA at 388 nm have a correlation with the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) products that is comparable to or better than the correlation with the operational product during the campaign. The OE-based estimated error represented the variance of actual biases of AOT at 388 nm between the retrieval and AERONET measurements better than the operational error estimates. The forward model parameter errors were analyzed separately for both AOT and SSA retrievals. The surface reflectance at 388 nm, the imaginary part of the refractive index at 354 nm, and the number fine-mode fraction (FMF) were found to be the most important parameters affecting the retrieval accuracy of AOT, while FMF was the most important parameter for the SSA retrieval. The additional information provided with the retrievals, including the estimated error and degrees of freedom, is expected to be valuable for relevant studies. Detailed advantages of using the OE method were described and discussed in this paper.

Short summary
An aerosol retrieval and error analysis algorithm using OMI measurements based on an optimal-estimation method was developed in this study. The aerosol retrievals were validated using the DRAGON campaign products. The estimated errors of the retrievals represented the actual biases between retrieval and AERONET measurements well. The retrievals, with their estimated uncertainties, are expected to be valuable for relevant studies, such as trace gas retrieval and data assimilation.
Final-revised paper