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Product pages » Microtops Aerosol Optical Depth

Microtops Aerosol Optical Depth

Last modified by Bec Farrell on 2020/08/21 12:10

Aerosol optical depth - Microtops, aerosol optical depth and water vapor, AusCover supersites


Figure 1: Microtops instrument at Chowilla Supersite.

Link to the data

This data set consists of a shapefile/KMZ file of sunphotometer measurements. Information on the details of the attribute fields for the shapefile/KMZ file are located in this document in the section titled 'Shapefile/KMZ file attributes'.

DescriptorData linkLayer name
Persistent URL
GeoNetwork recordNot available yet
Data Portal (in development)

Data licence and Access rights

RightsCopyright 2010-2020 JRSRP. Rights owned by the JRSRP. Rights licensed subject to Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY).
LicenceCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 License,
AccessThese data can be freely downloaded and used subject to the CC BY licence. Attribution and citation is required as described at We ask that you send us citations and copies of publications arising from work that use these data.

Abstract or Summary

The acquisition of sunphotometer measurements are critical to capture vital data on atmospheric properties during airborne hyperspectral imaging campaigns as well as for measurements coinciding with the overpass of satellite sensors. The atmospheric properties measured are used in atmospheric correction of the remotely sensed image data. This data is primarily for input into atmospheric correction systems. It may also prove of use in validation of aerosol products such as MOD04 and the reflectance change method developed as part of CRC-SI project 4.1 which may be integrated into the Auscover 19 band reflectance product processing. It can also be used to check methods that produce water vapour directly from the data (SODA).  The MicroTops instruments referred to here capture solar radiance data in 5 wavelengths which are used to extract information on aerosol optical thickness and water vapour content. These two key parameters of interest are used as inputs for the atmospheric correction of remotely sensed image data.

Spatial and Temporal extents

Typical spatial resolution (metres)1 m
Spatial coverage (degrees)110.000000 to 155.001329 E, -10.000000 to -45.000512 N
Temporal resolution1 day
Temporal coverage2011-04-07 to ongoing
Sensor(s)Microtops sunphotometer
Spatial representation typevector
Spatial reference systemWGS 84

Point of contact

NameRebecca Farrell
OrganisationQLD Department of Environment & Science 
PositionScientist (Remote Sensing)
AddressRemote Sensing Centre, DES, EcoSciences Precinct
Telephone+61 7 3170 5459


The following organisations contributed to the data collection:

  • Joint Remotes Sensing Research Project
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Curtin University
  • University of Adelaide


FoREnvironmental Sciences > Ecological Applications = 0501

There are three main thesauri that AusCover recommends:

  1. Global Change Master Directory (
  2. Climate and Forecast (CF) convention standard names (
  3. Fields of Research codes (

Data quality

Some site specific issues relating to data quality may exist. Please see the ancillary data for specific details. 

Validation status

This is a validation data set. No validation is intended for this data set.

Related products

ItemProduct link
Airborne HyperspectralAirborne Hyperspectral
Hyperspectral Ground Calibration DataHyperspectral Ground Calibration Data
Microtops OzoneMicrotops Ozone


ItemDetail or link
Online infoAusCover field calibration/validation home page
Online infoField data collection protocol: Sunphotometer

Sampling strategy

Data is typically selected at a single location, during overflight, alongside hyperspectral ground calibration data collection. A sample is taken approximately every 10 minutes.  Full details of the field data collection are outlined in the field data protocol contained in the references of this document.  Deviations from this strategy are outlined in the associated shapefile/KMZ file for this data set.

Product version history

Version labelDetail
1.0Initial release

Shapefile/CSV file attributes

The information in the following table consist of metadata relating to the attribute fields in both the shapefile and KMZ file relating to this product.

Data FieldDescription (units)Format
supersiteAusCover calibration/validation siteText
obs_timeDate and time of observation in local timeDate and Time Stamp
longitudeLongitude of target location. Typically refers to plot centre. Method of determination various, see comments for details (decimal degrees)Float
latitudeLatitude of target location. Typically refers to plot centre. Method of determination various, see comments for details (decimal degrees)Float
altitudeAltitude above sea level (m)Integer
observersNames of field observersText
snSerial numberInteger
pressureAtmospheric pressure (millibars)Integer
szaSolar zenith: 0 for overhead sun, 90 for sun on horizon (degrees)Float
amOptical airmassFloat
sdcorrEarth sun distance correction – see manualFloat
temperatureTemperature (degrees celsius)Float
idIdentification number - set by userInteger
waterWater vapour column (cm)Float
sig380Signal (mV)Float
sig440Signal (mV)Float
sig500Signal (mV)Float
sig675Signal (mV)Float
sig870Signal (mV)Float
std380Standard deviation of signalFloat
std440Standard deviation of signalFloat
std675Standard deviation of signalFloat
std870Standard deviation of signalFloat
r380_440Ratio of signals between bandsFloat
r500_675Ratio of signals between bandsFloat
r440_500Ratio of signals between bandsFloat
r675_870Ratio of signals between bandsFloat
aot380Aerosol optical thickness (dimensionless)Float
aot440Aerosol optical thickness (dimensionless)Float
aot500Aerosol optical thickness (dimensionless)Float
aot870Aerosol optical thickness (dimensionless)Float

Metadata history

2013-03-13Metadata creation date
Created by Bec Trevithick on 2013/03/14 10:24

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