World Meteorological Organization

The PARASOL (Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Science coupled with Observations from a Lidar) payload consists of a digital camera with a CCD detector array, wide-field telecentric optics and a rotating filter wheel enabling measurements in 9 spectral channels from blue (0.443 µm) through to near-infrared (1.020µm) and in several polarization directions. Polarization measurements are performed at 0.490µm, 0.670µm and 0.865µm. Because it acquires a sequence of images every 20 seconds, the instrument can view ground targets from different angles, +/- 51° along track and +/- 43° across track.

Three-month (September through November) global fine-mode AOD at 550 nm. Bottom right : average over 5 years (2005–09) and anomalies for each individual year. Blue color indicates AOD lower than the average whereas red indicates higher values (Tanré et al., 2011)

Satellite PARASOL (CNES)
Instrument(s) POLDER
Instrument / Algorithm PI Didier Tanré, CNRS/USTL
Contact Details didier.tanre[at]
Parameter(s) ocean: AOD (2 modes) and size/ land: AOD (fine mode)
Aerosol algorithm LUT approach
Cloud screening Internal
Aerosol model 2 modes (Fine and Coarse) / Non-spherical dust particles (two spheroid models)
Retrieval assumptions Assumptions on the BPDF of the land surfaces
Retrieval limitations Coarse mode is not retrieved over land
Spatial, temporal coverage March 2005 - September 2013 / Global
Spatial, temporal resolution

level 1: 5x6 km2 / level 2: 17x18 km2 / Swath: 1600 km / 16 days repeat cycle

Operations status Operational / reprocessing
Validation status AERONET comparison
Quality control Fitting errors / Viewing geometrical conditions
last algorithm version 11.11 (ocean) 10.10 (land)
last validation

Level 1: final reprocessing achieved in November 2014; Level 2 and 3: ongoing


Algorithm description Product format description
Version explanation Validation summary


Product data access
Image / quicklook data access