New Sentinel-3 SLSTR Near Real Time Aerosol Optical Depth product released soon

Following the successful release of the Sentinel-3 Near Real Time (NRT) Fire Radiative Power Product (FRP) in April, EUMETSAT will deploy the NRT Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product on 27 August.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

The Sentinel-3 SLSTR NRT Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) product quantifies the abundance of aerosol particles, and monitors their global distribution and long-range transport, at the scale of 9.5 x 9.5 km2. All observations are made available in less than 3 hours from the SLSTR observation sensing time. It is only applicable during daytime.

The NRT AOD product will be available:

The METIS-AOD browser will soon provide near-real time plots on the NRT AOD product, primarily over ocean surfaces.

One of the key users of this product will be the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), who are responsible for operational air quality analyses and forecast. CAMS will assimilate the Sentinel-3 NRT AOD and FRP products, as illustrated in Figures 1-3 over the recent wildfire events ravaging last June in Siberia, into their own air quality-forecasting model, the data from which get broadcast via Euronews and CNN International, in order to clearly show society at large scale how air quality might impact people’s day-to-day lives, so that they can make decisions on their exposure to pollution more easily.

EUMETSAT is responsible for the generation and quality of the Sentinel-3 NRT AOD (and FRP) products, as well as their long-term validation and improvements, acting on behalf of the European Commission (EC).

Figure 1
Figure 1: Sentinel-3A and B SLSTR NRT FRP, wildfires in Siberia, 27 June 2020. Source: METIS


Figure 2
Figure 2: Sentinel-3A and B SLSTR NRT AOD, heavy smoke caused by wildfires in Siberia, 27 June 2020.


Figure 3
Figure 3: Sentinel-3A & B OLCI RGB, heavy smoke caused by wildfires in Siberia, 27 June 2020.

There are different maturity statuses of the AOD product between ocean and land surfaces:

  • AOD Ocean is pre-operational
  • AOD Land is currently demonstrational

All details about known limitations and technical specifications about the developed algorithm and the deployed processor are available in the NRT AOD Product Notice.

Further information can be found on the Sentinel-3 Atmospheric Composition webpage.

Overview on the AOD algorithm and performance.

EUMETCast Details

The NRT AOD product will be distributed on EUMETCast, as follows:

Sentinel-3A NRT AOD Channel: E2H-S3A-09
Multicast address:
PID: 610
Channel: T01-S3A-09
Sentinel-3B NRT AOD Channel: E2H-S3B-09
Multicast address:
PID: 610
Channel: T01-S3B-09

Example filenames:

Sentinel-3A AOD:


Sentinel-3B AOD:


Users wishing to receive the NRT AOD product via EUMETCast should register via our Earth Observation Portal (EOP).

For more information, contact our User Service Helpdesk.

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