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Evaluation of JAXA Himawari-8-AHI Level-3 Aerosol Products over Eastern China

School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410000, China
German Aerospace Center, Remote Sensing Technology Institute, 82234 Weßling, Germany
Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100864, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 215;
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Regional Monitoring)
PDF [7198 KB, uploaded 22 April 2019]


A novel geostationary satellite, the H8/AHI (Himawari-8/Advanced Himawari Imager), greatly improved the scan times per day covering East Asia, and the operational products have been stably provided for a period of time. Currently, atmospheric aerosol pollution is a major concern in China. H8/AHI aerosol products with a high temporal resolution are helpful for real-time monitoring of subtle aerosol variation. However, the H8/AHI aerosol optical thickness (AOT) product has been updated three times since its launch, and the evaluation of this dataset is currently rare. In order to validate its accuracy, this study compared the H8/AHI Level-3 (L3) hourly AOT products of all versions with measurements obtained from eleven sunphotometer sites located in eastern China from 2015 to 2018. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 6 AOT products from the same period were also used for inter-comparison. Although the H8/AHI AOT retrievals in version 010 show a moderate agreement with ground-based observations (correlation coefficient (R): 0.66–0.85), and the time series analysis shows that it can effectively monitor hourly variation, it suffers from an obvious underestimation of 0.3 compared to ground-based and MODIS observations. After the retrieval algorithm updated the predefined aerosol model, the overall underestimation of AHI AOTs was solved (version 010 slope: 0.43–0.62, version 030 slope: 0.75–1.02), and the AOTs in version 030 show a high agreement with observations from ten sites (R: 0.73–0.91). In addition, the surface reflectance dataset derived from the minimum reflectivity model in version 010 is inaccurate in parts of eastern China, for both “bright” and “dark” land surfaces, which leads to the overestimation of the AOT values under low aerosol loads at the Beijing and Xianghe sites. After the update of the surface dataset in version 030, this phenomenon was alleviated, resulting in no significant difference in scatterplots under different surface conditions. The AOTs of H8/AHI version 030 show a significant improvement compared to the previous two versions, but the spatial distribution of AHI is still different from MODIS AOT products due to the differences in sensors and algorithms. Therefore, although the evaluation in this study demonstrates the effectiveness of H8/AHI AOT products for aerosol monitoring at fine temporal resolutions, the performance of H8/AHI AOT products needs further study by considering more conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Himawari-8; AOD; sunphotometer; MODIS; eastern China Himawari-8; AOD; sunphotometer; MODIS; eastern China

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Li, D.; Qin, K.; Wu, L.; Xu, J.; Letu, H.; Zou, B.; He, Q.; Li, Y. Evaluation of JAXA Himawari-8-AHI Level-3 Aerosol Products over Eastern China. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 215.

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