Use of MERRA-2 in the National Solar Radiation Database and Beyond

Research output: NRELPresentation


The National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB) is a flagship product of NREL that provides solar radiation and ancillary meteorological information through a GIS based portal. This data is provided at a 4kmx4km spatial and 30 minute temporal resolution covering the period between 1998-2015. The gridded data that is distributed by the NSRDB is derived from satellite measurements using the Physical Solar Model (PSM) that contains a 2-stage approach. This 2-stage approach consists of first retrieving cloud properties using measurement from the GOES series of satellites and using that information in a radiative transfer model to estimate solar radiation at the surface. In addition to the satellite data the model requires ancillary meteorological information that is provided mainly by NASA's Modern Era Retrospecitve Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-2) 2 model output. This presentation provides an insight into how the NSRDB is developed using the PSM and how the various sources of data including the MERRA-2 data is used during the process.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NamePresented at the NASA Goddard MERRA-2 Applications Workshop, 19 June 2017, Greenbelt, Maryland

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5D00-68686


  • MERRA-2
  • National Solar Radiation Database
  • satellite measurements
  • solar radiation


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of MERRA-2 in the National Solar Radiation Database and Beyond'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this