Application of oxygen A-band equivalent width to disambiguate downwelling radiances for cloud optical depth measurement
- 1Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
- 2Air Force Research Lab, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Abstract. This paper presents the three-waveband spectrally agile technique (TWST) for measuring cloud optical depth (COD). TWST is a portable field-proven sensor and retrieval method offering a unique combination of fast (1 Hz) cloud-resolving (0.5° field of view) real-time-reported COD measurements. It entails ground-based measurement of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) zenith spectral radiances much like the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) cloud-mode sensors. What is novel in our approach is that we employ absorption in the oxygen A-band as a means of resolving the COD ambiguity inherent in using up-looking spectral radiances. We describe the TWST sensor and algorithm, and assess their merits by comparison to AERONET cloud-mode measurements collected during the US Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurements (ARM) Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP). Spectral radiance agreement was better than 1 %, while a linear fit of COD yielded a slope of 0.905 (TWST reporting higher COD) and offset of −2.1.