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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Satellite based estimates of solar energy availability at the earth’s surface : impact of changes in the configuration of the satellite data Wanless, Neil


Despite the encouraging results of recent satellite based estimates of solar energy at the Earth's surface numerous questions concerned with the configuration of the satellite data used in the models remain unanswered. The merits of a wide range of satellite data configurations were assessed using a single relationship between ground-based estimates of shortwave radiation transmission (T) and satellite measured reflectance (TR). Bidirectional reflectance (BDR) models were developed in an attempt to correct the satellite data for the anisotropic reflectance properties of the Earth-Atmosphere system. Irrespective of the type of BDR model used, such a correction for anisotropic reflectance was deemed to be unwarranted. Changes to the spatial configuration of the satellite pixel array and increased concentration of ground based measurements are also found to be of negligible importance. Therefore, as modelling procedures using satellite information characteristically involve voluminous data sets the ability to use small pixel array sizes presents a considerable advantage. Increasing the temporal averaging period resulted in substantial improvements to the strength of the relationship between T and TR. The use of at least two images and at least four images per one-hourly and two-hourly time periods, respectively, have been shown to satisfactorily characterize the observed radiative regimes. Finally, variations in the climatological characteristics for the Lower Fraser Valley study area, highlighted using such a technique, have been eluded to.

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