An assessment of the stray light in 25 years of Dobson total ozone data at Athens, Greece
Abstract. In this study, we investigated the susceptibility of the Dobson spectrophotometer No. 118 to stray light interference. In this regard, a series of total ozone content measurements were carried out in Athens, Greece for air-mass values (μ) extending up to μ = 5. The monochromatic-heterochromatic stray light derived by Basher's model was used in order to evaluate the specific instrumental parameters which determine if this instrument suffers from this problem or not. The results obtained indicate that the measurements made by the Dobson instrument of the Athens station for air mass values up to 2.5, underestimates the total ozone content by 3.5 DU in average, or about 1 % of the station's mean total ozone content (TOC). The comparison of the values of the same parameters measured 15 years ago with the present ones indicates the good maintenance of the Dobson spectrophotometer No. 118. This fact is of crucial importance because the variability of the daily total ozone observations collected by the Athens Dobson Station since 1989 has proved to be representative to the variability of the mean total ozone observed over the whole mid-latitude zone of the Northern Hemisphere. This stresses the point that the Athens total ozone station, being the unique Dobson station in south-eastern Europe, may be assumed as a ground truth station for the reliable conversion of the satellite radiance observations to total ozone measurements.