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What is the estimated error in AOD in the dark target product?

In collection 5 the estimated errors are:

   Land:   AOD * 0.15 +/- 0.05

   Ocean: AOD * 0.05 +/- 0.03

 These are global estimates from the entire data set.  Errors in the product vary from region to region and season to season. For a site by site analysis see the maps in our “Validation” section. The Collection 6 product is currently being analyzed and error estimates have not yet been published.

How is the MODIS aerosol product validated?

MODIS data is inter-compared with data collected from the AERONET worldwide network of ground stations (See  The MODIS and AERONET data are temporally and spatially matched using the following criteria:

Temporal:  All AERONET observations made within +/- 30 minutes of a MODIS overpass at an AERONET site.

Spatial: All MODIS data retrieved within a 25 Km radius of an AERONET location for the 10 Km product and within 7.5 Km for the 3 Km product.