The Dust And Biomass EXperiment, (DABEX), based in Niamey, Niger in early 2006, investigates the radiative effect of dust and biomass aerosols emitted from the Sahara/Sahelian regions. The interaction of dust and biomass over this region has not previously been well-established. The new GERB and SEVERI instruments onboard the geostationary MSG satellite platform provide ideal tools for monitoring the evolution of the dust and biomass plumes. Radiometers onboard the FAAM BAE-146 aircraft in conjunction with surface based sun-photometers will determine the accuracy of the retrieval algorithms in terms of the aerosol optical depth, size distribution, and refractive indices.
The main objectives of DABEX are:
-to perform high quality in-situ and remote sensing measurements of the optical and physical properties of anthropogenic biomass burning aerosols from sub-Sahelian west Africa;
-to perform high quality in-situ and remote sensing measurements of the optical and physical properties of natural mineral dust aerosols from over sub-Sahelian west Africa;
-to determine the interaction between the anthropogenic biomass burning aerosols and natural mineral dust aerosols using a combination of chemical, physical and optical measurements;
-to provide high quality spectral measurements of the solar and terrestrial radiative effects of both biomass burning aerosol and mineral dust aerosol;
-to determine the consistency between in-situ measurements/ satellite and surface-based remote-sensing methods of the effects on the radiation budget of the Earth of the composite biomass and mineral dust aerosols;
-to model the effect of the biomass and mineral dust aerosols on a regional and global scale and estimate the impact on the global radiation balance of the Earth/Atmosphere system.