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Welcome to the Deep Blue aerosol project webpage

Deep Blue uses measurements made by satellite instruments orbiting the Earth to determine the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere, and the properties of those aerosols. 'Aerosols' is a catch-all term covering particles suspended in the atmosphere, including but not limited to desert dust, smoke, volcanic ash, industrial smog, and sea spray. Improving our understanding of aerosols is important for reasons related to Earth's climate, human health, and ecology, as well as many others.

The Deep Blue algorithms have currently been applied to generate data products from the AVHRR, SeaWiFS, MODIS, and VIIRS spaceborne sensor series.

This website is designed to act as a single portal to provide information to both new and experienced data users about our data sets, as well as give an overview of what we do and why we do it to non-specialists. Please use the links across the top of the page to navigate, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Recent news relating to Deep Blue, such as new data versions or publications, are listed below. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed for updates.


Current data set status and availability (updated Nov 01 2017)


See also the Data tab:

  • AVHRR: Latest version is v001 (demonstration product for selected periods).
  • SeaWiFS: Latest version is v004, whole mission (1997-2010).
  • MODIS: Latest version is Collection 6.1, whole mission (Terra 2000 onwards, Aqua 2002 onwards), extended in near real time.
  • VIIRS: Public release expected later in 2018; example data available by request.
  • Above-cloud aerosol data products: Available on a case-study basis by request to Andrew Sayer.

VIIRS Version 1 Deep Blue aerosol data available

We are pleased to announce that the Version 1 VIIRS Deep Blue aerosol data set is available. Deep Blue product provides aerosol optical depth at 550 nm among other quantities, using the Deep Blue (DB) algorithm over land and Satellite Ocean Aerosol Retrieval (SOAR) algorithm over ocean.

Sample VIIRS image with retrieval results

New paper published describing VIIRS ocean aerosol data set

This figure shows example retrieval results at L2 resolution. (a) A true-color image, as well as retrieved (b) AOD at 550 nm and (c) FMF. L2 cells without QA = 3 retrievals are shaded in gray.

5 January 2018

MODIS Collection 6.1 public release has begun

19 October 2017

The Collection 6.1 (C6.1) reprocessing of MODIS Atmospheres data products, including Deep Blue, has begun! At the time of writing, MODIS Terra data from 2000 to mid-2008 are available; additional data are added to the archive as they are processed.

Illustration of the effects of the sphericity assumption on aerosol retrievals

New paper published describing nonspherical dust aerosol models

This figure shows VIIRS SOAR AOD from (a) spherical and (b) spheroidal dust optical models, (c) AOD difference between the two, and (d) AOD longitudinal cross section along the dust transport path.

16 October 2017

True-color and AOD maps for an example scene covering South America

AVHRR Deep Blue papers published and featured in EOS

Figure shows (a) MODIS Aqua true-color image, (b) MODIS AOD at 550 nm from Collection 6, and (c) the new AVHRR AOD at the same wavelength from NOAA18, for a smoke event over South America on 7 September 2006. This shows an example of the comparability of the two products.

2 October, 2017