An overview of mesoscale aerosol processes, comparisons, and validation studies from DRAGON networks
Holben, Brent N.
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Over the past 24 years, the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) program has provided highly accu- rate remote-sensing characterization of aerosol optical and physical properties for an increasingly extensive geographic distribution including all continents and many oceanic is- land and coastal sites. The measurements and retrievals from the AERONET global network have addressed satellite and model validation needs very well, but there have been chal- lenges in making comparisons to similar parameters from in situ surface and airborne measurements. Additionally, with improved spatial and temporal satellite remote sens- ing of aerosols, there is a need for higher spatial-resolution ground-based remote-sensing networks. An effort to address these needs resulted in a number of field campaign net- works called Distributed Regional Aerosol Gridded Observa- tion Networks (DRAGONs) that were designed to provide a database for in situ and remote-sensing comparison and anal- ysis of local to mesoscale variability in aerosol properties. This paper describes the DRAGON deployments that will continue to contribute to the growing body of research re- lated to meso- and microscale aerosol features and processes. The research presented in this special issue illustrates the di- versity of topics that has resulted from the application of data from these networks