In the renewed system of Aratos Earth Observation Data Platform the updated Surface Albedo layer is added. The surface albedo quantifies the fraction of the sunlight reflected by the surface of the Earth. Different albedo concepts are defined:
• The directional albedo or directional-hemispherical reflectance (also called black-sky albedo) is the integration of the bi-directional reflectance over the viewing hemisphere. It assumes all energy is coming from a direct radiation from the sun and is computed for a specific time.
• The hemispherical albedo or bi-hemispherical reflectance (also called white-sky albedo) is the integration of the directional albedo over the illumination hemisphere. It assumes a complete diffuse illumination.
The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) specified the black-sky albedo (directional albedo) as an Essential Climate Variable and the product is required for climate change purposes.
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