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Comparison of Laser-Based and Conventional Calibrations of Sun Photometers



N Souaidia, C Pietras, G Fargion, R Barnes, R Frouin, Keith R. Lykke, Bettye C. Johnson, Steven W. Brown


Sun photometers are used to characterize the radiative properties of the atmosphere. They measure both the incident solar irradiance as well as the sky radiance (from scattered incident flux). Global networks of sun photometers provide data products such as aerosol optical thickness derived from these measurements. Instruments are typically calibrated for irradiance responsivity by cross-calibration against a primary reference sun photometer and for radiance responsivity using a lamp illuminated integrating sphere source. A laser-based facility for Spectral Irradiance and Radiance Responsivity Calibrations using Uniform Sources (SIRCUS) has been developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Sensors can be calibrated in this facility for absolute spectral irradiance and radiance responsivity with combined expanded (k=2) uncertainties ranging from 0.15% to 0.25%. Two multi-channel filter radiometers used in the Sensor Intercomparison and Merger for Biological and Interdisciplinary Oceanic Studies (SIMBIOS) program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) were calibrated for radiance and irradiance responsivity using conventional approaches and using laser-illuminated integrating spheres on SIRCUS. The different calibration methods are compared, the uncertainties are evaluated, and the impact on remote sensing applications is discussed.
Proceedings Title
Ocean Remote Sensing and Imaging, Conference | 2nd | Ocean Remote Sensing and Imaging II | SPIE
Conference Dates
August 3-8, 2003
Conference Title
Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering


calibration, irradiance, radiance, responsivity, solar irradiance, sun photometer


Souaidia, N. , Pietras, C. , Fargion, G. , Barnes, R. , Frouin, R. , Lykke, K. , Johnson, B. and Brown, S. (2003), Comparison of Laser-Based and Conventional Calibrations of Sun Photometers, Ocean Remote Sensing and Imaging, Conference | 2nd | Ocean Remote Sensing and Imaging II | SPIE (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2003, Updated February 17, 2017