Wang, KC, Zhou, XJ, Liu, JM, Sparrow, M (2005). Estimating surface solar radiation over complex terrain using moderate-resolution satellite sensor data. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 26(1), 47-58.
It is well known that taking into account the influence of complex terrain is essential when using high-resolution satellite remotely sensed data to estimate surface net solar radiation. This paper investigates whether this is also the case when using moderate-resolution satellite remotely sensed data, such as Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). Firstly, topographic data from a gridded digital elevation model, field measurements from the Tibetan Plateau, and results from the atmospheric 6S model are used to estimate surface incoming solar radiation over complex terrain. The associated error caused by not taking into account terrain complexity is them calculated, and the relative radiation error is estimated by standardizing the error. The results show that the standard deviation of the relative radiation error depends on the solar zenith angle, standard deviation of the height, and resolution of the digital elevation model (or resolution of the satellite sensor data). A single regression equation describes the change in the standard deviation of the relative radiation error with solar zenith angle, standard deviation of height, and resolution of the digital elevation model. This demonstrates that it is necessary to consider terrain complexity when using moderate-resolution remotely sensed data.