Evaluation of “on site” calibration procedures for sun-sky photometers
Abstract. To retrieve columnar aerosol properties from sun-photometers both irradiance and radiance calibration factors are needed. For the irradiance the solar calibration constant, V0, that is the instrument counts for a direct normal solar flux extrapolated to the top of the atmosphere, must be determined. The solid view angle, SVA, is the measure of the field of view of the instrument, and it is important for obtaining the Radiance from sky diffuse irradiance measurements. Each of the three sun-photometers networks considered in the present study (SKYNET, AERONET, WMO-GAW) adopts different protocols of calibration and we evaluated the performance of the on-site calibration procedures, applied to SKYNET PREDE-POM instruments, during intercomparison campaigns and laboratory calibrations held in the framework of the Metrology for Aerosol Optical Properties (MAPP) EMPIR project. The on-site calibration, performed as frequently as possible (rather monthly) to monitor change of the machine condition, allow operators to track and evaluate the calibration status on a continuous basis considerably reducing the data gaps incurred by the periodical shipments for performing centralized calibrations. The performance of the on-site calibration procedures for V0 was very good in sites with low turbidity, showing an agreement with a reference calibration between 0.5 % and 1.5 % depending on wavelengths. In the urban area the agreement decreases between 1.7 % and 2.5 %. For the SVA the difference varied from a minimum of 0.03 % to a maximum of 3.46 %.
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