Validation of GOES-Derived Surface Radiation Using NOAA's Physical Retrieval Method

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report was part of a multiyear collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to produce high-quality, satellite-based, solar resource datasets for the United States. High-quality, solar resource assessment accelerates technology deployment by making a positive impact on decision making and reducing uncertainty in investmentdecisions. Satellite-based solar resource datasets are used as a primary source in solar resource assessment. This is mainly because satellites provide larger areal coverage and longer periods of record than ground-based measurements. With the advent of newer satellites with increased information content and faster computers that can process increasingly higher data volumes, methods that wereconsidered too computationally intensive are now feasible. One class of sophisticated methods for retrieving solar resource information from satellites is a two-step, physics-based method that computes cloud properties and uses the information in a radiative transfer model to compute solar radiation. This method has the advantage of adding additional information as satellites with newer channelscome on board. This report evaluates the two-step method developed at NOAA and adapted for solar resource assessment for renewable energy with the goal of identifying areas that can be improved in the future.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5500-57442


  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • NREL
  • solar radiation
  • subhourly data


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