Liu, Y, Sarnat, JA, Coull, BA, Koutrakis, P, Jacob, DJ (2004). Validation of multiangle imaging spectroradiometer (MISR) aerosol optical thickness measurements using aerosol robotic network (AERONET) observations over the contiguous United States. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 109(D6), D06205.

[1] Aerosol optical thickness (AOT) data retrieved by the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) in 2001 were compared with AOT measurements from 16 Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sites over the contiguous United States. Overall, MISR and AERONET AOTs were strongly correlated (r = 0.73). Regression analysis showed that the root mean square error (RMSE) of MISR AOT was 0.05. The overall retrieval error of MISR AOT was within +/-0.04 +/- 0.18 x AOT. This result as well as the regression slope and intercept were comparable with previous results using AOT retrievals from MISR or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The agreement between MISR and AERONET AOTs was improved (R-2 = 0.90, RMSE = 0.04) when data from three western inland sites were excluded. A paired t test indicated that MISR systematically overestimated AOT by 0.02 +/- 0.007. It was also shown that this positive bias in MISR AOT was greater during the spring and summer as well as in western United States. Together, these results suggest that MISR AOT measurements may be suitable for quantitative analysis of aerosol abundance. Finally, it is unlikely that the current results will vary when using alternative MISR AOT parameters since our analysis also showed the MISR AOT parameters (best fit, regional mean, and weighted regional mean AOTs) to be highly comparable.