Intro to Aerosol Data
Aerosol data can be obtained from several sources. It is important to point out that aerosol data has many uncertainties. Measuring atmospheric aerosols is a challenge due to the large range in particle size, shape, concentration and composition. No single instrument can measure all the aerosol properties, and detection methods of the smallest sub-3 nm particles are still developing.
As a result, scientists, businesses, and government agencies rely on an array of tools to monitor aerosols. Core tools include satellite, aircraft, and ground-based instruments, as well as atmospheric models. Of all the tools, sky radiometers directly measure aerosol optical depth (AOD) and the radiation by wavelength that aerosols scatter and absorb in the atmosphere. These instruments are well suited for solar power applications (while other instruments are required to assess particle types, concentrations, and chemistry).