Calitoo Aerosol Data Show Some Correlation to Satellite Data from MODIS and LIDAR

Student(s):Jessica Chernoff, Macary George, James Moriarty
Grade Level:Middle School (grades 6-8, ages 11-14)
GLOBE Teacher(s):Victoria Gorman
Report Type(s):International Virtual Science Symposium Report
Presentation Poster: View Document
Optional Badges: Be a Collaborator, Be a Data Scientist, Be a STEM Professional
Date Submitted:04/10/2019

View Research Report

An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in the air or in another gas. Aerosols are always around. They have an impact on both weather and climate. They can also affect the health of living things. There are several types of instrument that measure Aerosol Optical Thickness/Depth (AOT/AOD). Junior scientists can use a hand-held instrument called a Calitoo. The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations, better known as “CALIPSO”, is an amazing satellite that offers a “3-D perspective on earth’s clouds and aerosols that will answer questions about how they form, evolve, and affect our weather, climate, water supply, and air quality” (Dunbar 12). Another satellite instrument found on the Terra and Aqua satellites that measures AOT/AOD is MODIS. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measures 36 spectral bands, which include, blue, green, and red bands. These were the bands that were used to measure AOT/AOD data with the Calitoo. Our research question was “What is the correlation between AOT/AOD data taken with the Calitoo and the data from Terra’s and Aqua’s MODIS and CALIPSO’s LIDAR?” To answer this question, our research team asked for assistance from NASA personnel, Dr. Margaret Pippin, Scientist Angela Rizzi and Scientist Marile Colon Robles. Based on the scientists’ suggestions, NASA WorldView and NASA IDEA were used to extract MODIS and LIDAR data. Results of a correlation were mixed depending on which satellite instrument and which visualization tool were used. A suggestion for future research would be to concentrate only on MODIS data, take the Calitoo readings over a longer period of time, or collaborate with schools around the world and use CALIPSO data to compare AOT and type of aerosols in various locations.


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Hi Jessica, Macary and James,
This is an interesting research project. I really enjoyed reading your research report on aerosol data.
Here are my questions.
(1) On the date 3/12, you got your AOT = 0.2949 but the MODIS gave 0.0-0.1. Could you explain why there was a big difference between Calitoo measurement and MODIS readings?
(2) You have collected your data for ten days, and some of those days had no MODIS data. If you have more time, what would you do to improve your results?
(3) How many Calitoo do you have in your study? How do you know if your Calitoo gave a correct readings?
Keep up with your great work.

Posted on 5/5/19 12:02 PM.