This data set consists of observations of atmospheric parameters including spectral aerosol optical depths, precipitable water, sky radiance distributions and aerosol volume, and particle size distribution. Data were collected by the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) program, a federation of ground-based remote sensing aerosol networks composed of automatic sun and sky scanning radiometers. AERONET's goal is to assess aerosol optical properties and validate satellite data. The study site was in the Soil Moisture Experiment 2003 (SMEX03) area of Oklahoma, USA for the period from 20 June to 19 July 2003.
A sun photometer was set up within the Oklahoma South study area for the collection of aerosol optical properties throughout the course of the SMEX02 field campaign. Three levels of data are available: Level 1.0 (unscreened), Level 1.5 (cloud-screened), and Level 2.0 (cloud-screened and quality-assured).
These data were collected as part of a validation study for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). AMSR-E is a mission instrument launched aboard NASA's Aqua Satellite on 04 May 2002. AMSR-E validation studies linked to SMEX are designed to evaluate the accuracy of AMSR-E soil moisture data. Specific validation objectives include assessing and refining soil moisture algorithm performance; verifying soil moisture estimation accuracy; investigating the effects of vegetation, surface temperature, topography, and soil texture on soil moisture accuracy; and determining the regions that are useful for AMSR-E soil moisture measurements.