The atmospheric conditions in the Persian Gulf region are significantly different from other places in the world. The particle size distribution may vary daily and during the day. The aerosols can contribute to the amount of rainfall over land, important for the nations around the Gulf. In 2004 NASNGSFC and NRL (Naval Research Laboratory) introduced a proposal to improve the modelling of aerosol transport for the Persian Gulf area. The proposal included a measurement campaign in the UAE (United Arabian Emirates), held in the summer/fall of 2004, sponsored by the DWRS (Department of Water Resources Studies) in Abu Dhabi: UAEz (Unified Aerosol Experiment in the UAE). In this campaign NASA installed a number of multi-spectral sun-photometers at various locations in the UAE (http://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov). NRL installed ground based and airborne particle samplers. In addition, TNO (the Netherlands) installed its multi-band opticaUIR transmissometer, in order to collect horizontal, path-integrated transmission data. This device provides additional information on the scattering behaviour of the aerosols compared to the other instruments, which either integrate scattering over the full vertical path (the NASA sun-photometers, providing the Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD)) or sample the particles in-situ (the NRL particle samplers, providing size distribution and composition). This paper deals with our transmission measurement set-up, which was located in a coastal area near Abu Dhabi. This
location allowed the investigation of the local variability of the atmospheric conditions: from desert dust to pollution, such as fossil fuel and biomass burning, depending on the wind direction. For logistic reasons a set-up was chosen with a retro-reflector. This choice implies consequences for the calibration procedure and measurement accuracy, which are discussed in detail. Also the effects of path-inhomogeneity and scintillation for such a two-way set-up are considered. Results are presented for the measurement period of two weeks in September, showing interesting transmission effects
due to temporal changes in aerosol particle composition. These phenomena cannot be explained by scattering theory for spherical particles. More knowledge is required on the shape and composition of the particles. Comparison of the transmission data with the data from other instruments will be done in a next phase.