Langley method of calibrating UV filter radiometers


  • James Slusser,

  • James Gibson,

  • David Bigelow,

  • Donald Kolinski,

  • Patrick Disterhoft,

  • Kathleen Lantz,

  • Arthur Beaubien


The Langley method of calibrating UV multifilter shadow band radiometers (UV-MFRSR) is explored in this paper. This method has several advantages over the traditional standard lamp calibrations: the Sun is a free, universally available, and very constant source, and nearly continual automated field calibrations can be made. Although 20 or so Langley events are required for an accurate calibration, the radiometer remains in the field during calibration. Difficulties arise as a result of changing ozone optical depth during the Langley event and the breakdown of the Beer-Lambert law over the finite filter band pass since optical depth changes rapidly with wavelength. The Langley calibration of the radiometers depends critically upon the spectral characterization of each channel and on the wavelength and absolute calibration of the extraterrestrial spectrum used. Results of Langley calibrations for two UV-MFRSRs at Mauna Loa, Hawaii were compared to calibrations using two National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceable lamps. The objectives of this study were to compare Langley calibration factors with those from standard lamps and to compare field-of-view effects. The two radiometers were run simultaneously: one on a Sun tracker and the other in the conventional shadow-band configuration. Both radiometers were calibrated with two secondary 1000 W lamp, and later, the spectral response functions of the channels were measured. The ratio of Langley to lamp calibration factors for the seven channels from 300 nm to 368 nm using the shadow-band configuration ranged from 0.988 to 1.070. The estimated uncertainty in accuracy of the Langley calibrations ranged from ±3.8% at 300 nm to ±2.1% at 368 nm. For all channels calibrated with Central Ultraviolet Calibration Facility (CUCF) lamps the estimated uncertainty was ±2.5% for all channels.