Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

Processing, archiving and distributing Earth science data
at the NASA Langley Research Center

Projects Supported

ASDC Projects Supported


Projects Definition/Description Spatial Coverage Temporal Coverage


Smoke/Sulfates, Clouds and Radiation - America (SCAR-A) data include physical and chemical components of the Earth's surface, the atmosphere and the radiation field collected in the eastern part of the United States with an emphasis in air pollution.
Related Project: SCAR-B

Eastern United States 07/12/1993 - 07/29/1993


Smoke/Sulfates, Clouds and Radiation - Brazil (SCAR-B) data include physical and chemical components of the Earth's surface, the atmosphere and the radiation field collected in Brazil with an emphasis in biomass burning.
Related Projects: SCAR-A

Brazil 06/01/1995 - 10/31/1995


Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys airborne field study mission is to determine how pollutant emissions are redistributed via deep convection throughout the troposphere; to determine the evolution of gases and aerosols in deep convective outflow and the implications for UT/LS chemistry; to identify the influences and feedbacks of aerosol particles from anthropogenic pollution and biomass burning on meteorology and climate through changes in the atmospheric heat budget (i.e., semi-direct effect) or through microphysical changes in clouds (i.e., indirect effects); and lastly, to serve as a calibration and validation test bed for future satellite instruments and missions.

varies 08/06/2014 - 09/23/2014


The Prabhakara Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) atmospheric liquid water and integrated atmospheric water vapor files were generated by Dr. Cuddapah Prabhakara at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) using SMMR Antenna Temperatures. A discussion of the SMMR Antenna Temperatures is available from the Langley Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). Each file contains one month of 3 degree by 5 degree gridded mean liquid water. Each element of data is in units of mg/cm2. The data spans the period from February 1979 to May 1984.

Related Projects: NVAP

Relevant to data set Relevant to data set


The NASA/GEWEX Surface Radiation Budget (SRB) Release-3.0 data sets contain global 3-hourly, daily, monthly/3-hourly, and monthly averages of surface and top-of atmosphere (TOA) longwave and shortwave radiative parameters on a 1°x1° grid. Model inputs of cloud amounts and other atmospheric state parameters are also available in some of the data sets. Primary inputs to the models include: visible and infrared radiances from International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) pixel-level (DX) data, cloud and surface properties derived from those data, temperature and moisture profiles from GEOS-4 reanalysis product obtained from the NASA Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO), and column ozone amounts constituted from Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) archives, and Stratospheric Monitoring-group's Ozone Blended Analysis (SMOBA), an assimilation product from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. SRB products are reformatted for the use of renewable energy and agricultural communities and made available through the Surface meteorology and Solar Energy (SSE) website. SRB products now overlap a portion of surface and TOA flux data sets that are available from Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) project. These CERES data products and those from the CERES Fast Longwave and SHortwave Radiative Fluxes (FLASHFlux) project extend past the SRB time frame. The latter project provides radiative fluxes on a near real-time basis. The CERES and CERES/FLASHFlux data sets also make use of global observations from Moderate-resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS) instruments.

Release-3.0 products differ substantially from earlier SRB Releases (2.0 and 2.5) arising from numerous improvements of the algorithms and input data sets. Temporal coverage of Release-3.0 is extended to December 2007; Release-2.5 ended in June 2005. On-line documentation provides information on all changes applicable to Release-3.0. Users are encouraged to consult on-line documentation prior to using these data sets. In addition to the big-endian binary formatted files of previous releases, Release-3.0 is now available in netCDF format.

Related Projects: SSE, CERES, ISCCP, ERBE, MISR

Global 07/01/1983 - 12/31/2007


SUbsonic aircraft: Contrail & Clouds Effects Special Study (SUCCESS) is a NASA field program using scientifically instrumented aircraft and ground based measurements to investigate the effects of subsonic aircraft on contrails, cirrus clouds, and atmospheric chemistry. The experiment is cosponsored by NASA's Subsonic Assessment Program and the Radiation Sciences Program which are part of the overall Aeronautics and Mission to Planet Earth Programs, respectively. SUCCESS has well over a hundred direct participants from several NASA Centers, other agencies, universities, and private research companies.

36.6N Lat. 97.5W Lon. 04/12/1996 - 05/02/1996


The overall goal of the Tropospheric Aerosol Radiative Forcing Observational EXperiment (TARFOX) is to reduce uncertainties in the effects of aerosols on climate by determining the direct radiative impacts, as well as the chemical, physical, and optical properties, of the aerosols carried over the western Atlantic Ocean from the United States.

Aerosol effects on atmospheric radiation are a leading source of uncertainty in predicting future climate. TARFOX was designed to reduce this uncertainty by measuring and analyzing aerosol properties and effects in the U.S. eastern seaboard, where one of the world's major plumes of industrial haze moves from the continent over the Atlantic Ocean.

The TARFOX Intensive Field Campaign was conducted July 10-31, 1996. It included coordinated measurements from four satellites (GOES-8, NOAA-14, ERS-2, LANDSAT), four aircraft (ER-2, C-130, C-131A, and a modified Cessna), land sites, and ships. A variety of aerosol conditions was sampled, ranging from relatively clean behind frontal passages to moderately polluted with aerosol optical depths exceeding 0.5 at mid-visible wavelengths. Gradients of aerosol optical thickness were sampled to aid in isolating aerosol effects from other radiative effects and to more tightly constrain closure tests, including those of satellite retrievals. Early results from TARFOX include demonstration of the unexpected importance of carbonaceous compounds and water condensed on aerosol in the US mid-Atlantic haze plume, chemical apportionment of the aerosol optical depth, measurements of the downward component of aerosol radiative forcing, and agreement between forcing measurements and calculations. A wide variety of closure studies is currently in progress.

Western Atlantic Ocean 07/10/1996 - 07/31/1996


The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) launched into sun-synchronous orbit aboard Aura, the third of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) spacecraft, on July 15, 2004. The primary objective of TES is to make global, three-dimensional measurements of ozone and other chemical species involved in its formation and destruction.

TES is a high-resolution imaging infrared Fourier-transform spectrometer that operates in both nadir and limb-sounding modes. TES global survey standard products include profile measurements of ozone, water vapor, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrogen dioxide, and nitric acid for 16 orbits every other day. TES Special Observations are research measurements of targeted locations or regional transects which are used to observe specific phenomena or to support local or aircraft validation campaigns.

The TES Level 1B products are written in NCSA's HDF5 format. The Level 2 and Level 3 data products are written in HDF-EOS5 (based on HDF5) format.

Global 08/22/2004 - Present


THe Observing-system Research and predictability experiment (THORpex) is a ten-year international research program where the primary objective is to accelerate improvements in short range weather predictions and warnings over the Northern Hemisphere. The fifth in an ongoing series of ER-2 field experiments, THORpex is the primary over-water validation experiment for the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) satellite.
Related Project: ATOST

Hawaii, Pacific Ocean 01/31/2003 - 04/10/2003


A MEaSUREs project that proposes to produce level 3 surface irradiance products that are consistent with observed TOA irradiances in a framework of 1D radiative transfer theory,  containing the contribution of atmospheric and cloud property variability to TOA and surface irradiance variability.

Varies 30 years