Long-term Datasets of Aerosol and Surface Reflectance from ERS-2, ENVISAT and Sentinel-3
North, Peter; Heckel, Andreas; Davies, William; Bevan, Suzanne
Swansea University, UNITED KINGDOM

We present results of a new global retrieval of aerosol optical thickness and size distribution from the ESA ATSR instrument series on ERS-2 and ENVISAT (1995-2012), developed under the ESA Aerosol Climate Change Initiative. Further testing of a new algorithm developed for Sentinel-3, with planned operation 2013-2030 is also discussed. The ATSR series instruments on ERS-2 and ENVISAT together provide one of the longest available, well-calibrated datasets of satellite radiance measurements. The dual-angle viewing capability gives two near-simultaneous images at differing slant paths though the atmosphere, allowing global retrieval of aerosol optical thickness without assumptions on surface spectral properties. We present the global ATSR time series and analysis of trends, and give comparison with AERONET and with MODIS and MISR global datasets. The algorithm has been developed for application to Sentinel-3 to make use of synergistic retrieval from two sensors, OLCI and SLSTR. The research explores the gain by using information from both instruments simultaneously to constrain atmospheric profile, characterise cloud, and provide improved atmospheric correction to surface reflectance. The algorithm has been implemented on the ESA BEAM system and tested on MERIS and AATSR data, and compared with existing algorithms. The retrieval also forms the basis of simultaneous estimation surface reflectance corrected for atmospheric scattering, which underpins retrieval of albedo and other surface properties in the ESA GLobAlbedo and SEN4LST projects.