Remotely Sensed Estimates of Solar Radiation in the Tropics Using Infrared Satellite Imagery

Ryuichi Shirooka, Kazushige Yamada, Tomoyoshi Hirota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A statistical method is presented for the estimation of global solar radiation at the ground surface. Daytime averaged “infrared” data taken by a geostationary meteorological satellite are applied to estimate the daily amount of global solar radiation around the tropics. In order to use the infrared equivalent blackbody temperature (IR TBB) data as an indicator of cloud amount and activity in the daytime, the satellite data on each point of a 0.1 × 0.1 degree grid are averaged from 06 to 18 LST in one hour intervals. Surface solar irradiance is evaluated with the averaged TBB and a calculated solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere. Results are compared with measured radiation values over the ocean and on islands in the tropics. From the results of the estimation, the correlation coefficient is 0.88 and the root mean square error is 2.41 MJ/m2 for daily estimation over the ocean, and 0.79 and 2.78 MJ/m2 on islands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-578
Number of pages4
Journaljournal of agricultural meteorology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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