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Performance and Uncertainty of CNR1 Net Radiometers during a One-Year Field Comparison

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  • 1 Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • | 2 Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, World Radiation Center, Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • | 3 Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • | 4 Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • | 5 MeteoSwiss, Payerne, Switzerland
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Abstract

Net radiation flux in correlation with surface energy budget, snowmelt, glacier ice balance, and forest or agricultural flux exchange investigations is measured in numerous field experiments. Instrument costs and energy consumption versus performance and uncertainty of net radiation instruments has been widely discussed. Here the authors analyze and show performance and uncertainty of two Kipp and Zonen CNR1 net radiometers, which were compared to high standard reference radiation instruments measuring individual shortwave and longwave downward and upward flux components. The intercomparison was aimed at investigating the performance of the radiometers under different climatological conditions and was made over one year at the midlatitude Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) station in Payerne, Switzerland (490 MSL). Of the two CNR1 radiometers tested, one was installed in a ventilation and heating system, whereas the other was mounted without ventilation and heating. Uncertainties of the different flux components were found to be larger for shortwave than longwave radiation and larger for downward than upward components. Using the single sensitivity coefficient provided by the manufacturer, which for CNR1 radiometers conditions using all four sensors, rather large root-mean-square differences between 2 and 14 W m−2 were measured for the individual components for hourly averages and between 2 and 12 W m−2 for daily averages. The authors then performed a field calibration, comparing each individual sensor to the reference instrument for one particular day. With the individual field calibration the uncertainty of hourly averages was reduced significantly for all components of the ventilated and heated instrument. For the unventilated CNR1 uncertainties could not be reduced significantly for all sensors. The total net radiation uncertainty of both CNR1 is rather large with up to 26% on daily averages (∼10 W m−2) for the original sensitivity coefficients and without field calibration. Only with the field calibration and for the ventilated and heated CNR1 net radiometer is an uncertainty of 10% of the daily totals of total net radiation reached, as claimed by the manufacturer.

Corresponding author address: Dominik Michel, Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 27, Basel 4056, Switzerland. Email: dominik.michel@unibas.ch

Abstract

Net radiation flux in correlation with surface energy budget, snowmelt, glacier ice balance, and forest or agricultural flux exchange investigations is measured in numerous field experiments. Instrument costs and energy consumption versus performance and uncertainty of net radiation instruments has been widely discussed. Here the authors analyze and show performance and uncertainty of two Kipp and Zonen CNR1 net radiometers, which were compared to high standard reference radiation instruments measuring individual shortwave and longwave downward and upward flux components. The intercomparison was aimed at investigating the performance of the radiometers under different climatological conditions and was made over one year at the midlatitude Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) station in Payerne, Switzerland (490 MSL). Of the two CNR1 radiometers tested, one was installed in a ventilation and heating system, whereas the other was mounted without ventilation and heating. Uncertainties of the different flux components were found to be larger for shortwave than longwave radiation and larger for downward than upward components. Using the single sensitivity coefficient provided by the manufacturer, which for CNR1 radiometers conditions using all four sensors, rather large root-mean-square differences between 2 and 14 W m−2 were measured for the individual components for hourly averages and between 2 and 12 W m−2 for daily averages. The authors then performed a field calibration, comparing each individual sensor to the reference instrument for one particular day. With the individual field calibration the uncertainty of hourly averages was reduced significantly for all components of the ventilated and heated instrument. For the unventilated CNR1 uncertainties could not be reduced significantly for all sensors. The total net radiation uncertainty of both CNR1 is rather large with up to 26% on daily averages (∼10 W m−2) for the original sensitivity coefficients and without field calibration. Only with the field calibration and for the ventilated and heated CNR1 net radiometer is an uncertainty of 10% of the daily totals of total net radiation reached, as claimed by the manufacturer.

Corresponding author address: Dominik Michel, Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 27, Basel 4056, Switzerland. Email: dominik.michel@unibas.ch

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