Satellite project «Aerosol-UA»:remote sensing of aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere

1Yatskiv, Ya.S, 2Mishchenko, MI, 1Rosenbush, VK, 3Shakhovskoy, DN, 1Sinyavsky, II, 4Milinevsky, GP, 1Kiselev, NN, 1Ivanov, Yu.S, 1Petukhov, VN, 5Danylevsky, VO, 6Bovchalyuk, AP
1Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
2The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, USA
3Scientific-Research Institute «Crimean Astrophysical Observatory» of the Ministry for Education and Science of Ukraine, Nauchny, Crimea, Ukraine
4Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
5Astronomical Observatory of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine; (2) Main Astronomical Observatory of the NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
6Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Kosm. nauka tehnol. 2012, 18 ;(4):03–15
Publication Language: Russian
It is well known that atmospheric aerosols strongly affect the terrestrial climate and environment, their climatic effects being comparable to those of the greenhouse gases. However accurate quantitative estimates of these effects and, especially, of their anthropogenic components are absent, thereby making it difficult to formulate scientifically justified social and economic programs. We outline the perspective Ukrainian space project «Aerosol-UA» which has the following three main objectives: 1) to monitor the spatial distribution of key parameters of terrestrial tropospheric and stratospheric aerosols; 2) to provide a comprehensive observational database enabling accurate quantitative estimates of the aerosol contribution to the energy budget of the climate system; 3) to quantify the contribution of anthropogenic aerosols to climatic and ecological processes. We provide a detailed analysis and justification of an aerosol remote-sensing concept based on precise orbital measurements of the intensity and polarization of sunlight scattered by the atmosphere and the surface. We argue that Ukraine possesses the requisite intellectual resources and production facilities to design, build, and launch into orbit a multi-functional high-precision polarimeter and thereby to make an essential contribution to the study of natural and man-made aerosols and their climatic and ecological effects.
Keywords: atmospheric aerosols, climate and ecology, polarization of sunlight, space project «Aerosol-UA»
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