Assessment of Atmospheric Limitations on the Determination of the Solar Spectral Constantfrom Ground-Based Spectroradiometer Measurements

John A. Reagan, Larry W. Thomason, Benjamin M. Herman, James M. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Ground-based solar radiometer measurements have long been used to investigate various properties of both the Earth'satmosphere and the sun. This paper addresses the problem of attempting to measure the solar spectral irradiance with heretofore unachieved levels of accuracy and precision (~0.5 and ~0.1 percent, respectively) via spectroradiometer measurements made at high-altitude ground stations. Instrumentation and calibration approaches are discussed, but attention is primarily directed toward assessing limitations imposed by the atmosphere. Assessments of factors such as diffuse light contributions, uncertainty in airmass determination, variability in atmospheric optical depth, spectroradiometer bandwidth, and data analysis methods are included in the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1986



  • Langley plot airmass
  • Solar spectral irradiance
  • optical depth
  • solar radiometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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