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Measuring Spectral Actinic Flux and Irradiance: Experimental Results from the Actinic Flux Determination from Measurements of Irradiance (ADMIRA) Project

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  • * Department of Physics, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • | + Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • | # Institute for Medical Physics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • | @ Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CNR, Rome, Italy
  • | 5 Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
  • | * *Meteorologie Consult GmbH, Glashutten, Germany
  • | ++ Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Research, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
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Abstract

Results are presented from the Actinic Flux Determination from Measurements of Irradiance (ADMIRA) campaign to measure spectral global UV irradiance and actinic flux at the ground, beneath an atmosphere well defined by supporting measurements. Actinic flux is required to calculate photolysis rates for atmospheric chemistry, yet most spectral UV measurements are of irradiance. This work represents the first part of a project to provide algorithms for converting irradiances to actinic fluxes with specified uncertainties. The campaign took place in northern Greece in August 2000 and provided an intercomparison of UV spectroradiometers measuring different radiation parameters, as well as a comprehensive radiation and atmospheric dataset. The independently calibrated spectroradiometers measuring irradiance and actinic flux agreed to within 5%, while measurements of spectral direct irradiance differed by 9%. Relative agreement for all parameters proved to be very stable during the campaign. A polarization problem in the Brewer spectrophotometer was identified as a problem in making radiance distribution measurements with this instrument. At UV wavelengths actinic fluxes F were always greater than the corresponding irradiance E by a factor between 1.4 and 2.6. The value of the ratio F : E depended on wavelength, solar zenith angle, and the optical properties of the atmosphere. Both the wavelength and solar zenith angle dependency of the ratio decreased when the scattering in the atmosphere increased and the direct beam proportion of global irradiance decreased, as expected. Two contrasting days, one clear and one with higher aerosol and some cloud, are compared to illustrate behavior of the F : E ratio.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Ann R. Webb, Department of Physics, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom. Email: ann.webb@umist.ac.uk

Abstract

Results are presented from the Actinic Flux Determination from Measurements of Irradiance (ADMIRA) campaign to measure spectral global UV irradiance and actinic flux at the ground, beneath an atmosphere well defined by supporting measurements. Actinic flux is required to calculate photolysis rates for atmospheric chemistry, yet most spectral UV measurements are of irradiance. This work represents the first part of a project to provide algorithms for converting irradiances to actinic fluxes with specified uncertainties. The campaign took place in northern Greece in August 2000 and provided an intercomparison of UV spectroradiometers measuring different radiation parameters, as well as a comprehensive radiation and atmospheric dataset. The independently calibrated spectroradiometers measuring irradiance and actinic flux agreed to within 5%, while measurements of spectral direct irradiance differed by 9%. Relative agreement for all parameters proved to be very stable during the campaign. A polarization problem in the Brewer spectrophotometer was identified as a problem in making radiance distribution measurements with this instrument. At UV wavelengths actinic fluxes F were always greater than the corresponding irradiance E by a factor between 1.4 and 2.6. The value of the ratio F : E depended on wavelength, solar zenith angle, and the optical properties of the atmosphere. Both the wavelength and solar zenith angle dependency of the ratio decreased when the scattering in the atmosphere increased and the direct beam proportion of global irradiance decreased, as expected. Two contrasting days, one clear and one with higher aerosol and some cloud, are compared to illustrate behavior of the F : E ratio.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Ann R. Webb, Department of Physics, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom. Email: ann.webb@umist.ac.uk

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