Near real-time absorbing aerosol height


The Absorbing Aerosol Height product provides information on the height of absorbing aerosol layers.


Near real-time. Based on product requirements, the product files must be available to users in three hours from sensing.

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 of the product is equal to the spatial resolution of the GOME-2 instrument: 40 km x 40 km for Metop-A and 80 km x 40 km for Metop-B and Metop-C.


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).


See NRT access information.

File format

This product is delivered in HDF5 format. Each file contains one PDU (Product Dissemination Unit), equal to three minutes of satellite data.

Algorithm version information

Time period GOME-2 / Metop-A GOME-2 / Metop-B GOME-2 / Metop-C
02.03.2020 - 26.11.2020 1.32 1.32 N.A.
26.11.2020 onwards 1.32 1.32 1.32


Composite image of the most recent near real-time absorbing aerosol height from the Metop-C satellite (from TEMIS website)