Articles | Volume 4, issue 1
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 47–54, 2011
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 47–54, 2011

Research article 19 Jan 2011

Research article | 19 Jan 2011

Camtracker: a new camera controlled high precision solar tracker system for FTIR-spectrometers

M. Gisi, F. Hase, S. Dohe, and T. Blumenstock M. Gisi et al.
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-ASF), Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. A new system to very precisely couple radiation of a moving source into a Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer is presented. The Camtracker consists of a homemade altazimuthal solar tracker, a digital camera and a homemade program to process the camera data and to control the motion of the tracker. The key idea is to evaluate the image of the radiation source on the entrance field stop of the spectrometer. We prove that the system reaches tracking accuracies of about 10 arc s for a ground-based solar absorption FTIR spectrometer, which is significantly better than current solar trackers. Moreover, due to the incorporation of a camera, the new system allows to document residual pointing errors and to point onto the solar disk center even in case of variable intensity distributions across the source due to cirrus or haze.