New GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol Data Product Suite

The Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) – Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Dark Target Aerosol product suite enables users to track rapid changes and movements in smoke and dust plumes that can severely impact air quality.
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MODIS Dark Target aerosol data image overlain on GOES dark target aerosol data image.
Image of aerosol concentrations over North and Central America from the GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol data products suite, with darker colors (orange/red) indicating higher aerosol concentrations. White areas are clouds. Credit: GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol project.

NASA’s Level-1 and Atmosphere Archive and Distribution System Distributed Active Archive Center (LAADS DAAC) released a GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol data products suite. The Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO), Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Dark Target Aerosol suite of global aerosol products is produced from data acquired by both geostationary and low-Earth orbit satellites between January 2019 and December 2022 that shows aerosol movement across the globe every 10 minutes. 

The GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol project uses a special version of the MODIS Dark Target (DT) aerosol retrieval algorithm to produce Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and other aerosol parameters derived independently from four GEO and four LEO sensors aboard eight different satellites.

The four GEO sensors include the Advanced Baseline Imagers (ABI) aboard the GOES-16 (GOES-East) and GOES-17 (GOES-West) satellites and the Advanced Himawari Imagers (AHI) aboard the Himawari-8 and Himawari-9 satellites. The four LEO sensors include the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments aboard NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instruments aboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) and NOAA-20 satellites. The addition of the LEO sensors strengthens a major goal of this project, which is to render a consistent science maturity level across DT aerosol products derived from both types and sources of orbital satellites.

The GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol project is funded as part of NASA's Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program. Learn more about the GEO-LEO Dark Target Aerosol project.