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Juan Liria Fernndez[1], ngel Gonzlez[1]


Ralf Wiesenberg [2]

Technical Meteorologist by Sun2market solutions


Managing Director. Sun to Market Solutions, S.L. Avda.

Gregorio Peces Barba, 1, 28918 Legans (Madrid), Spain. Phone: (+34)914966189.

1. Introduction
It has been proved by multiple clear sky models that aerosols have an important role in direct beam irradiance attenuation. Aerosols are therefore an important source of uncertainty when predicting solar beam irradiance either Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI), Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI) or Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI), which can be critical for the construction of a solar Photovoltaic plant or Concentrated Solar Power plants. In this case the aerosol estimation formulas (for example: Yang et al., 2001[1]) are not very precise. The main problem is that nowadays there does not exist a method reliable worldwide to characterize aerosols without having a large uncertainty. The parameters which best characterize aerosols are the mstrongs turbidity parameter , the mstrongs wavelength exponent , and the Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT), which are related by the mstrongs formula: . The AErosol RObotic NETwork, from the NASA (AERONET), has a wide database of accurate measurements of AOT, provided by a web of meteorological stations spread all over the world. The problem lies not just in the lack of meteorological stations that have the necessary devices to measure the AOT --due to their elevated costs-- but also in the lack of data available from each individual station. The NASA satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) provides an almost complete view of the world's aerosols but its uncertainty range depends on the surface coverage. It has more accuracy on surfaces with low albedo (such as oceans and land with high vegetation coverage), but its uncertainty can be over 100% for surfaces with high albedo. The purpose of this paper is to validate the MODIS results using the AERONET data.

2. Methodology
Data from the AERONET will be acquired from the stations situated in Saada (31N, 8W), Ras El Ain (31N, 7W), Oukaimeden (31N, 7W), and Ouarzarzate (30N, 6W). The period of study will be May 06, since all the stations above have data available for this period. Data are available in the AERONET site in

The aim of this study is to find a relationship between MODIS data and AERONET data which will be achieved by correlating the MODIS database with the AERONET database as it follows[2-4]: Where subindex means both AERONET and MODIS data, m would be the slope (towards one when data correlates well) and b would be the interception parameter (towards zero when data correlates well). Data from different stations will be also correlated in order to find a relationship between distance, height, and pressure [2]. The Mean Bias Error (MBE) will also be shown in order to see the deviation tendency between the data and the standard deviation of each data series, as well as temporal series of the data in order to see temporal evolution, although a month is a short period range and it is not expected to obtain conclusive results in this particular case. In the Saada station, as this station provides a wider temporal range of data, the yearlong aerosol evolution will be studied and it will be also compared to the MODIS data in order to obtain a more accurate temporal evolution.

3. References and Bibliography

[1] Viorel Badescu, Modelling Solar Radiation at the Earth Surface, Springer - Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2008. [2] A. Bounhir, Z. Benkhaldoun, B. Mougenot, M. Sarazin, E. Siher, L. Masmoudi, Aerosol columnar characterization in Morocco: ELT prospect, New Astronomy 13, 41 52, 2008. [3] Khan Alam, Thomas Trautmann, Thomas Blaschke, Hussain Majid, Aerosol optical and radiative properties during summer and winter seasons over Lahore and Karachi, Atmospheric Environment 50, 234-245, 2012. [4] Ralph Kahn, Andreas Petzold, Manfred Wendisch, Eike Bierwirth,Tilman Dinter, Michael Esselborn, Marcus Fiebig, Birgit Heese, Peter Knippertz, Detlef Mller, Alexander Schladitz and Wolfgang von Hoyningen-Huene, Desert dust aerosol air mass mapping in the western Sahara, using particle properties derived from space-based multi-angle imaging, Tellus (2009), 61B, 239251 [5] Eugenia Kalnay, Athmospheric Modelling, Data Assimilation, And Predictibility, Cambridge, 2003. [6] Daniel S. Wilks. Statistical Methods in the Atmospheric Sciences, Academic Press 2006.