Retrieving Aerosol Characteristics from the Pace Mission, Part 1: Ocean Color Instrument
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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NASAs Plankton, Aerosol, Clouds, ocean Ecosystem PACE satellite mission is scheduled to launch in 2022, with the Ocean Color Instrument OCI on board. For the first time reflected sunlight from the Earth across a broad spectrum from the ultraviolet UV 350 nm to the short wave infrared SWIR 2260 nm will be measured from a single instrument at 1 km spatial resolution. While seven discrete bands will represent the SWIR, the spectrum from 350 to 890 nm will be continuously covered with a spectral resolution of 5 nm. OCI will thus combine in a single instrument and at an enhanced spatial resolution for the UV the heritage capabilities of the Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer MODIS and the Ozone Monitoring Instrument OMI, while covering the oxygen A-band O2A. Designed for ocean color and ocean biology retrievals, OCI also enables continuation of heritage satellite aerosol products and the development of new aerosol characterization from space. In particular the combination of MODIS and OMI characteristics allows deriving aerosol height, absorption and optical depth along with a measure of particle size distribution. This is achieved by using the traditional MODIS visible-to-SWIR wavelengths to constrain spectral aerosol optical depth and particle size. Extrapolating this information to the UV channels allows retrieval of aerosol absorption and layer height. A more direct method to derive aerosol layer height makes use of O2A absorption methods, despite the relative coarseness of the nominal 5 nm spectral resolution of OCI. Altogether the PACE mission with OCI will be an unprecedented opportunity for aerosol characterization that will continue climate data records from the past decades and propel aerosol science forward toward new opportunities.
- Atmospheric Physics