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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Environmental Geosciences (DEG)


Environmental Geosciences, V. 10, No. 2 (2003), P. 47-57.

Copyright copy2003. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists/Division of Environmental Geosciences. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1306/eg100202051

New developments in using solar cells as remote sensors to gauge climate change

Nelson Veissid

Laboratoacuterio Associado de Sensores e Materiais (LAS), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), C.P. 515, CEP 12245-970, Satildeo Joseacute dos Campos, Satildeo Paulo, Brazil; [email protected]; web page: http://www.las.inpe.br/~veissid


N. Veissid was born in Brazil in 1953. He received the M.Sc. degree in physics and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Satildeo Paulo, Brazil, in 1980 and 1989, respectively. Since 1980, he has been with the Sensors and Materials Laboratory (LAS) at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). His current research interests include electrical characterization of space use solar cells, experiments, on board satellites, solar simulation, and geosciences.


The author would like to acknowledge the Technological and Scientific National Council, CNPq, Brazilian governmental entity that promotes scientific and technological development, referent for the process number 46.7716/00-5. I am also grateful to A. F. Beloto for manufacturing the solar cells and to N. F. Leite for managing the subsystem during the year 1993. The author also acknowledges OriginLab (http://www.originlab.com) for the license to use Origin software in the data analysis of this work.


Earth's albedo is the fraction between the radiation reflected outside and the incident solar radiation, and regional albedo is this parameter obtained in the nadir point of a satellite. This work describes a new self-calibrated method for the assessment of albedo using the telemeterized data from the solar cell experiment of the second data collection satellite, second "Satelite de Copeta de Dados" (SCD2), launched on October 1998. A numerical simulation shows that the albedo data of this experiment is a function of the local weather condition (clouds). The continuous monitoring of this data permits one to infer climate change. This work shows and makes analysis of albedo in three cities of Brazil (South America) during 1999 and 2000, which have different climate conditions. The albedo graphics help explain the climate behavior in these regions. The experiment and the method of this work may establish a cost-effective innovation for space programs.

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