The Heliosat method is a technique of determining the global radiation at the ground by using data from a geostationary satellite.
In the Heliosat method it is assumed that the intensity of the visible solar irradiance which is scattered back to the satellite from the Earth and the atmosphere, behaves proportional to the atmospheric reflection. Also the isotropy of the atmospheric reflection is suppositional in order to disable the influence of the atmosphere’s heterogeneity on the reflection properties.
Due to the dominating dependence of the reflection on the cloudiness, it is feasible to derive an important quantity characterizing the degree of cloudiness existing within a solid angle from the radiation measured by the satellite. Via this quantity it is possible to deduce the transmission properties of the atmosphere and then determine the global irradiance.