New satellite project Aerosol-UA: Remote sensing of aerosols in the terrestrial...

Milinevsky, G., Ya. Yatskiv, O. Degtyaryov, I. Syniavskyi, M. Mishchenko, V. Rosenbush, Yu. Ivanov, A. Makarov, A. Bovchaliuk, V. Danylevsky, M. Sosonkin, S. Moskalov, V. Bovchaliuk, A. Lukenyuk, A. Shymkiv, and E. Udodov (2016), New satellite project Aerosol-UA: Remote sensing of aerosols in the terrestrial atmosphere, Acta Astronautica, 123, 292-300.

We discuss the development of the Ukrainian space project Aerosol-UA which has the following three main objectives: (1) to monitor the spatial distribution of key characteristics of terrestrial tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols; (2) to provide a comprehensive observational database enabling accurate quantitative estimates of the aerosol contribution to the energy budget of the climate system; and (3) quantify the contribution of anthropogenic aerosols to climate and ecological processes. The remote sensing concept of the project is based on precise orbital measurements of the intensity and polarization of sunlight scattered by the atmosphere and the surface with a scanning polarimeter accompanied by a wide-angle multispectral imager–polarimeter.

Preparations have already been made for the development of the instrument suite for the Aerosol-UA project, in particular, of the multi-channel scanning polarimeter (ScanPol) designed for remote sensing studies of the global distribution of aerosol and cloud properties (such as particle size, morphology, and composition) in the terrestrial atmosphere by polarimetric and spectrophotometric measurements of the scattered sunlight in a wide range of wavelengths and viewing directions from which a scene location is observed. ScanPol is accompanied by multispectral wide-angle imager–polarimeter (MSIP) that serves to collect information on cloud conditions and Earth’s surface image. Various components of the polarimeter ScanPol have been prototyped, including the opto-mechanical and electronic assemblies and the scanning mirror controller. Preliminary synthetic data simulations for the retrieval of aerosol parameters over land surfaces have been performed using the Generalized Retrieval of Aerosol and Surface Properties (GRASP) algorithm. Methods for the validation of satellite data using ground-based observations of aerosol properties are also discussed. We assume that designing, building, and launching into orbit a multi-functional high-precision scanning polarimeter and an imager–polarimeter should make a significant contribution to the study of natural and anthropogenic aerosols and their climatic and ecological effects.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)