We assess the strength of association between aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrievals from the GOES Aerosol/Smoke Product (GASP) and ground-level fine particulate matter (PM2.5) to assess AOD as a proxy for PM2.5 in the United States. GASP AOD is retrieved from a geostationary platform and therefore provides dense temporal coverage with half-hourly observations every day, in contrast to once per day snapshots from polar-orbiting satellites. However, GASP AOD is based on a less-sophisticated instrument and retrieval algorithm. We find that correlations between GASP AOD and PM2.5 over time at fixed locations are reasonably high, except in the winter and in the western U.S. Correlations over space at fixed times are lower. Simple averaging over time actually reduces correlations over space dramatically, but statistical calibration allows averaging over time that produces strong correlations. These results and the data density of GASP AOD highlight its potential to help improve exposure estimates for epidemiological analyses. On average 40% of days in a month have a GASP AOD retrieval compared to 14% for MODIS and 4% for MISR. Furthermore, GASP AOD has been retrieved since November 1994, providing the possibility of a long-term record that pre-dates the availability of most PM2.5 monitoring data and other satellite instruments.
Paciorek, Christopher J.; Liu, Yang; Moreno-Macias, Hortensia; and Kondragunta, Shobha, "Spatio-temporal Associations Between GOES Aerosol Optical Depth Retrievals and Ground-Level PM2.5" (December 2007). Harvard University Biostatistics Working Paper Series. Working Paper 74.