Continuous light absorption photometer for long-term studies
- 1Global Monitoring Division, Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, 80305, USA
- 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, 80303, USA
Abstract. A new photometer is described for continuous determination of the aerosol light absorption coefficient, optimized for long-term studies of the climate-forcing properties of aerosols. Measurements of the light attenuation coefficient are made at blue, green, and red wavelengths, with a detection limit of 0.02 Mm−1 and a precision of 4 % for hourly averages. The uncertainty of the light absorption coefficient is primarily determined by the uncertainty of the correction scheme commonly used to convert the measured light attenuation to light absorption coefficient and ranges from about 20 % at sites with high loadings of strongly absorbing aerosols up to 100 % or more at sites with low loadings of weakly absorbing aerosols. Much lower uncertainties (ca. 40 %) for the latter case can be achieved with an advanced correction scheme.