An Intercomparison of Ground-Based Total Ozone Instruments

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  • 1 NASA Wallops Flight Center, Wallops Island, VA 23337
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Abstract

Five ground-based total ozone spectrophotometers were intercompared at Wallops Island, Virginia between October 1979 and January 1981. The tests were conducted to evaluate the stability and accuracy of each instrument over an extended time period. Acceptable performance regarding these two characteristics is essential if an instrument is to be useful in field measurements and network monitoring of the atmospheric total ozone content. The Dobson spectrophotometer was used as the standard of comparison for the Brewer grating spectrophotometer, the USSR M-83 ozonometer, the Canterbury filter photometer, and the SenTran filter photometer. The grating instrument was found to be potentially the equal of the Dobson but was subject to unreliable performance by its rather sophisticated electronic components. The filter photometers performed acceptably for short periods but filter aging and eventual degradation rendered both units unusable before the end of the intercomparison. Finally, the M-83 results were found to be in acceptable agreement with the Dobson throughout the period when certain qualifications are invoked. The accuracy of a single M-83 ozone measurement may be low. Averages tend to improve its agreement with the Dobson. Airmass dependencies appear to be appropriately accounted for, but zenith cloudy measurements are too high by ∼30%.

Abstract

Five ground-based total ozone spectrophotometers were intercompared at Wallops Island, Virginia between October 1979 and January 1981. The tests were conducted to evaluate the stability and accuracy of each instrument over an extended time period. Acceptable performance regarding these two characteristics is essential if an instrument is to be useful in field measurements and network monitoring of the atmospheric total ozone content. The Dobson spectrophotometer was used as the standard of comparison for the Brewer grating spectrophotometer, the USSR M-83 ozonometer, the Canterbury filter photometer, and the SenTran filter photometer. The grating instrument was found to be potentially the equal of the Dobson but was subject to unreliable performance by its rather sophisticated electronic components. The filter photometers performed acceptably for short periods but filter aging and eventual degradation rendered both units unusable before the end of the intercomparison. Finally, the M-83 results were found to be in acceptable agreement with the Dobson throughout the period when certain qualifications are invoked. The accuracy of a single M-83 ozone measurement may be low. Averages tend to improve its agreement with the Dobson. Airmass dependencies appear to be appropriately accounted for, but zenith cloudy measurements are too high by ∼30%.

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