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Unlocking the Secrets of Our Atmosphere: A Deep Dive into Solar Aureole Research

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I'm excited to share this blog by Pi-Huan Wang, our first IDL Fellow! In my work as the Academic and Nonprofit Account Manager here at NV5 Geospatial, I was seeing a lot of passionate retired IDL users living on a fixed income and needing support to continue their work with IDL. The idea behind the IDL Fellows program was born out of the desire to accommodate retirees who still love scientific programming and want to continue their research by way of the language they know so well. If you are retired and interested in becoming an IDL Fellow and sharing your research through a blog post, feel free to reach out to me to see if you qualify for the program.


IDL Fellow Blog

Hi. I'm Pi-Huan Wang. I'm thrilled to share insights from my latest work, "Solar Aureole Method: Atmospheric Almucantar and Limb Remote Sensing," co-authored with Adarsh Deepak. This book explores groundbreaking techniques in atmospheric aerosol monitoring, a field critical for understanding climate impacts.

One key innovation we've developed is the Solar Aureole Almucantar Radiance Scan (SAARS), a highly efficient method for assessing aerosol distribution using solar aureole imagery. Another is the Solar Aureole Atmospheric Constant-Altitude Multi-Angle Limb Scattering System (ACAMALSS), a novel approach offering global-scale insights into both gaseous species and aerosols in our atmosphere.

The SAARS technique, utilizing digital imagery, provides an efficient way to assess Columnar Aerosol Size Distribution (CASD). Meanwhile, ACAMALSS introduces an entirely new concept for global atmospheric analysis. Together, these techniques represent a significant leap in atmospheric remote sensing, potentially revolutionizing our understanding of air quality and climate dynamics.

Central to our research has been the use of IDL®. IDL is a powerful, modern programming language that lets you transform numbers into dynamic visual representations so you can interpret your data and expedite discoveries. In our research, IDL's power and flexibility were instrumental in simulating and analyzing complex atmospheric data. This includes overcoming challenges like atmospheric curvature effects in radiance data analysis, a limitation of traditional models. IDL's robust programming capabilities are pivotal in these methods, enabling precise data analysis and modeling of atmospheric phenomena. IDL’s efficiency is especially evident in handling complex atmospheric modeling, ensuring accurate analysis across various sun zenith angles.

Our findings, significant as they are, also highlight the need for further research, particularly in understanding atmospheric refraction's impact on solar radiation interaction with atmospheric constituents. While exploring future research directions, including the impact of atmospheric refraction, the IDL-driven methodologies stand out as essential tools for atmospheric exploration.

I am excited about the potential applications of our methods, not just on Earth but also in exploring other planetary atmospheres. This work wouldn't have been possible without the support of the IDL Fellows Program at NV5, enabling us to push the boundaries of atmospheric remote sensing.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to explore and understand our fascinating atmosphere!

About the Authors:

Pi-Huan Wang, Ph.D., retired after over 30 years as Senior Research Scientist at Science and Technology Corporation (STC), which he joined in 1980 after completing his Ph.D. (Meterorology, Florida State University) and doing post-doctoral work at the National Center for Atmosopheric Research, Boulder, Colorado. He is author/coauthor of over 150 research publications.

Adarsh Deepak, Ph.D., is the President/CEO of Science and Technology Corporation (STC), which he founded in 1979; Chair of Not-for-Profit Taksha Institute (TI) since 1976. and former Associate Research Professor of Physics % Meteorology at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. He is author/coauthor of over 100 research papers, and editor/coeditor of over 40 conference proceedings.