SURFRAD–A National Surface Radiation Budget Network for Atmospheric Research

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A surface radiation budget observing network (SURFRAD) has been established for the United States to support satellite retrieval validation, modeling, and climate, hydrology, and weather research. The primary measurements are the downwelling and upwelling components of broadband solar and thermal infrared irradiance. A hallmark of the network is the measurement and computation of ancillary parameters important to the transmission of radiation. SURFRAD commenced operation in 1995. Presently, it is made up of six stations in diverse climates, including the moist subtropical environment of the U.S. southeast, the cool and dry northern plains, and the hot and arid desert southwest. Network operation involves a rigorous regimen of frequent calibration, quality assurance, and data quality control. An efficient supporting infrastructure has been created to gather, check, and disseminate the basic data expeditiously. Quality controlled daily processed data files from each station are usually available via the Internet within a day of real time. Data from SURFRAD have been used to validate measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System series of satellites, satellite-based retrievals of surface erythematogenic radiation, the national ultraviolet index, and real-time National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) products. It has also been used for carbon sequestration studies, to check radiative transfer codes in various physical models, for basic research and instruction at universities, climate research, and for many other applications. Two stations now have atmospheric energy flux and soil heat flux instrumentation, making them full surface energy balance sites. It is hoped that eventually all SURFRAD stations will have this capability. A surface radiation budget observing network (SURFRAD) has been established for the United States to support satellite retrieval validation, modeling, and climate, hydrology, and weather research. The primary measurements are the downwelling and upwelling components of broadband solar and thermal infrared irradiance. A hallmark of the network is the measurement and computation of ancillary parameters important to the transmission of radiation. SURFRAD commenced operation in 1995. Presently, it is made up of six stations in diverse climates, including the moist subtropical environment of the U.S. southeast, the cool and dry northern plains, and the hot and arid desert southwest. Network operation involves a rigorous regimen of frequent calibration, quality assurance, and data quality control. An efficient supporting infrastructure has been created to gather, check, and disseminate the basic data expeditiously. Quality controlled daily processed data files from each station are usually available via the Internet within a day of real time. Data from SURFRAD have been used to validate measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System series of satellites, satellite-based retrievals of surface erythematogenic radiation, the national ultraviolet index, and real-time National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) products. It has also been used for carbon sequestration studies, to check radiative transfer codes in various physical models, for basic research and instruction at universities, climate research, and for many other applications. Two stations now have atmospheric energy flux and soil heat flux instrumentation, making them full surface energy balance sites. It is hoped that eventually all SURFRAD stations will have this capability.

*NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory, Surface Radiation Research Branch, Boulder, Colorado.

+Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington.

Corresponding author address: John A. Augustine, NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory, Surface Radiation Research Branch, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303. E-mail: augustin@srrb.noaa.gov

A surface radiation budget observing network (SURFRAD) has been established for the United States to support satellite retrieval validation, modeling, and climate, hydrology, and weather research. The primary measurements are the downwelling and upwelling components of broadband solar and thermal infrared irradiance. A hallmark of the network is the measurement and computation of ancillary parameters important to the transmission of radiation. SURFRAD commenced operation in 1995. Presently, it is made up of six stations in diverse climates, including the moist subtropical environment of the U.S. southeast, the cool and dry northern plains, and the hot and arid desert southwest. Network operation involves a rigorous regimen of frequent calibration, quality assurance, and data quality control. An efficient supporting infrastructure has been created to gather, check, and disseminate the basic data expeditiously. Quality controlled daily processed data files from each station are usually available via the Internet within a day of real time. Data from SURFRAD have been used to validate measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System series of satellites, satellite-based retrievals of surface erythematogenic radiation, the national ultraviolet index, and real-time National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) products. It has also been used for carbon sequestration studies, to check radiative transfer codes in various physical models, for basic research and instruction at universities, climate research, and for many other applications. Two stations now have atmospheric energy flux and soil heat flux instrumentation, making them full surface energy balance sites. It is hoped that eventually all SURFRAD stations will have this capability. A surface radiation budget observing network (SURFRAD) has been established for the United States to support satellite retrieval validation, modeling, and climate, hydrology, and weather research. The primary measurements are the downwelling and upwelling components of broadband solar and thermal infrared irradiance. A hallmark of the network is the measurement and computation of ancillary parameters important to the transmission of radiation. SURFRAD commenced operation in 1995. Presently, it is made up of six stations in diverse climates, including the moist subtropical environment of the U.S. southeast, the cool and dry northern plains, and the hot and arid desert southwest. Network operation involves a rigorous regimen of frequent calibration, quality assurance, and data quality control. An efficient supporting infrastructure has been created to gather, check, and disseminate the basic data expeditiously. Quality controlled daily processed data files from each station are usually available via the Internet within a day of real time. Data from SURFRAD have been used to validate measurements from NASA's Earth Observing System series of satellites, satellite-based retrievals of surface erythematogenic radiation, the national ultraviolet index, and real-time National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) products. It has also been used for carbon sequestration studies, to check radiative transfer codes in various physical models, for basic research and instruction at universities, climate research, and for many other applications. Two stations now have atmospheric energy flux and soil heat flux instrumentation, making them full surface energy balance sites. It is hoped that eventually all SURFRAD stations will have this capability.

*NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory, Surface Radiation Research Branch, Boulder, Colorado.

+Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington.

Corresponding author address: John A. Augustine, NOAA/Air Resources Laboratory, Surface Radiation Research Branch, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303. E-mail: augustin@srrb.noaa.gov
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