Visibility and aerosols

Contact: Michael Riffler or Stefan Wunderle
Funding source:

Visibility is of great interest with regard to traffic security (road and air traffic) or tourism and it is an indicator for air pollution. The goal of the visibility project is to derive and forecast spatially homogeneous visibilities with modelings and satellite data. The most important parameters for the derivation of visibility are the optical properties of aerosols, in particular the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) as a measure for the extinction of electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere. The Remote Sensing Research Group of the University of Berne (RSGB) makes use of data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) on the European geostationary weather satellites of the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) and from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR - Details "visibility NOAA Data find: here) aboard the polar-orbiting satellite of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Plot of mean aerosol depth over Switzerland
Figure: Mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 0.55 µm in August 2004 over Central Europe.

The methods developed for AOD retrieval are able to provide AOD maps over a wide range of surface types. The advantage of SEVIRI is its high temporal, the one of AVHRR the high spatial resolution. The latter provides also an archive going back to 1981 and therewith the possibility to analyse visibility trend.




Riffler, Michael; Popp, Christoph; Hauser, Adrian; Fontana, Fabio; Wunderle, Stefan (2010). Validation of a modified AVHRR aerosol optical depth retrieval algorithm over Central Europe. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT), 3(5), pp. 1255-1270. Göttingen: Copernicus Publications 10.5194/amt-3-1255-2010

Riffler, Michael; Popp, Christoph; Hauser, Adiran; Wunderle, Stefan (2007). Aerosol optical depth retrieval over land from NOAA AVHRR: sensitivity studies. In: Proceedings Joint 2007 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference and the 15th Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography Conference of the American Meteorological Society, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Darmstadt: EUMETSAT