WINDHOEK-NUST: Aeronet Installation 14 October 2015

On the 14th October an AERONET CIMEL sun photometer station was installed here at the Polytechnic of Namibia.  This was facilitated by the MoU signed between the Polytechnic of Namibia and NASA in late September.  The AERONET installation is the third, (one at Gobabeb, and UNAM campus – Henties Bay) of approximately 6 which will be installed around the country. CIMEL sun photometers installed here at the Polytechnic, as a contribution to the AERONET network.  This photometer is a temporary installation until it is moved through to one of the other locations designed to maximise the understanding of aerosol distribution around Namibia.  A sun photometer collects Aerosol Optical Depth at 15 minute intervals throughout the daylight hours.  The measurements give us an idea on the quantity of aerosols in the atmosphere. 

This installation is the first step in the development of a long term research plan to use this type of data to develop models which are temporally and spatially adaptive for atmospheric correction of satellite images acquired in our region.  Although Namibia in general has pretty clear atmospheric conditions it does experience a variety of different aerosols at different times of the year in different locations from different sources, e.g. Fog, and marine aerosols, dust off of Etosha, and burning biomass, some of which originates from within Namibia, but most of it which is transported over Namibia from the neighbouring countries (creating the haze that we see particularly in Aug-Sept months).  Below are three pictures show the installation of the CIMEL, and graphs showing the first few days of data collected from the instrument.  This data can be freely obtained from the following URL link (our station is recorded as “WINDHOEK-NUST”):

Figure 1: Recordings from the Windhoek-NUST Aeronet station recorded between the 14-22 October 2015 (days 18-19 show slightly elevated values linked to cloud formation.  The spike on the 20th is either an anomaly or linked through to a dust cloud originating from the construction taking place alongside the Architecture building. Readings are taken at 15 min intervals throughout the daylight hours.

Figure 2: Average Aerosol Optical Depth measured in 8 wavelengths across the spectrum.

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