Comparison of AERONET and SKYRAD4.2 inversion products retrieved from a Cimel CE318 sunphotometer
SKYNET is an international research network of ground based sky – sunphotometers for the observation and monitoring of columnar aerosol properties. The algorithm developed by SKYNET is called SKYRAD.pack, and it is used on Prede instruments only. In this study, we have modified the SKYRAD.pack software in order to adapt it to Cimel sunphotometers. A one month database of Cimel data obtained at Burjassot (Valencia, Spain) has been processed with this program and the obtained inversion products have been compared with AERONET retrievals. In general, the differences found were consistent with the individual error assessments for both algorithms. Although the aerosol optical depth compared well for any aerosol burden situation (rmsd of 0.002–0.013 for all wavelengths), inversion products such as the single scattering albedo, refractive index and asymmetry parameter compared better for higher turbidity situations. The comparison performed for cases with an aerosol optical depth at 440 nm over 0.2 showed rms differences of 0.025–0.049 for single scattering albedo, 0.005–0.034 for the real part of refractive index, 0.004–0.007 for the imaginary part of the refractive index and 0.006–0.009 for the asymmetry parameter. With respect to the volume distributions, the comparison also showed a good agreement for high turbidity cases (mainly within the 0.01–7 μm interval) although the already known discrepancy in the extremes of the distribution was still found in 40% of the cases, in spite of eliminating data and instrumental differences present in previous studies.