Absorbing aerosol height data record


The absorbing aerosol height data record provides information on the height of absorbing aerosol layers. DOI: 10.15770/EUM_SAF_AC_0038


Data record

Satellites and instruments

GOME-2/Metop-A and GOME-2/Metop-B

Algorithm version


Time period

  • 24/01/2007 - 31/07/2018 (GOME-2/Metop-A)
  • 12/12/2012 - 31/07/2018 (GOME-2/Metop-B)

Theoretical basis

The AAH algorithm code derives the height of the absorbing aerosol layer using the oxygen-A absorption band. The method used is based on the FRESCO+ cloud information algorithm. The AAH algorithm uses the Absorbing Aerosol Index (AAI) product produced by the AC SAF for aerosol detection.


The AAH processor is integrated part of the AC SAF processing at the KNMI. This way, the algorithm has immediate access to absorbing aerosol information via the AAI product. The information from the oxygen-A absorption band is used to determine aerosol layer height in a similar way as is done for the FRESCO cloud algorithm.

Units and spatial resolution

Absorbing aerosol height is provided in km and absorbing aerosol pressure in hPa. The spatial resolution is equal to the spatial resolution of the GOME-2 instrument: 80 km × 40 km (24/01/2007 – 16/07/2013) and 40 km × 40 km (16/07/2013 – 31/07/2018) for Metop-A and 80 km × 40 km for Metop-B.


This product is validated by RMI and AUTH. Validation is based on comparisons with CALIOP lidar observations (RMI) and on comparisons with EARLINET ground-based lidar observations (AUTH).

Archiving and dissemination

This product is archived at the FMI and available via data record access page.

File format and size

This product is delivered in HDF5 format, each file containing one satellite orbit (sunlit portion). The size of a single product file is about 1 MB.