Optimal interpolation of satellite derived irradiance and ground data

Antonio T. Lorenzo, Matthias Morzfeld, William F. Holmgren, Alexander D. Cronin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We describe how Bayesian data assimilation can be used to improve nowcasts of irradiance over small, city-scale, spatial areas. Specifically, we use optimal interpolation (OI) to improve satellite derived estimates of global horizontal irradiance (GHI) using ground truth data that was collected sparsely over Tucson, AZ. Our results show that the local data indeed improves the satellite derived estimates of GHI. A key to success with OI in this context is to prescribe correlations based on cloudiness, rather than spatially. OI can be used with a variety of data, e.g., rooftop photovoltaic production data or irradiance data, as well as with several different satellite derived irradiance models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 IEEE 43rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509027248
StatePublished - Nov 18 2016
Event43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016 - Portland, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2016Jun 10 2016

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Other43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • data assimilation
  • optimal interpolation
  • remote sensing
  • solar irradiance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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