Satellite inputs for smoke emissions and aerosol data assimilation in the Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System

Edward J. Hyer
Naval Research Laboratory


The Navy Aerosol Analysis and Prediction System generates analyses and short-term forecasts of aerosols for operational use by the Navy and the public. This system relies on satellite inputs for a variety of purposes. Satellite data are heavily used in retrospective analyses for model development, validation, and uncertainty estimation. Satellite data are also dynamically used in the system, for estimation of the smoke source and for AOD data assimilation. The accuracy of the NAAPS forecast is dependent on application of these satellite data that takes into account the capabilities and limitations of the satellite products used. In this talk, I will discuss properties of satellite observations of fires and AOD that influence their use in the NAAPS system. Research into understanding the uncertainties in the Fire Location and Monitoring of Burning Emission (FLAMBE) smoke emission product has shown that spatial and temporal patterns of burning emissions are heavily influenced by the properties of the satellite fire detection products. When these properties are correctly accounted for, the fidelity of the spatial and temporal distribution of fire activity can be improved. NRL has invested considerable effort into quantitative characterization of uncertainty in satellite AOD products. These products have advanced rapidly in recent years, but numerous biases remain in the current generation of these products. This NRL research has led to the creation of global AOD products over land and ocean that are explicitly designed for data assimilation, with reduced bias and numerical uncertainties included with each observation. Results of NRL research to characterize these biases and correct them where possible will be presented. These products are now publicly distributed through the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) data portal.