The dependence on bandwidth of the error in estimating both optical depth and extraterrestrial solar flux due to an assumption of Beer’s law applicability across finite bandwidths is determined by a numerical integration of Beer’s law across the bandwidth. It was found that for 0.1% accuracy, 100-Å bandwidths suffice for central wavelengths of 0.45 μm or greater; the maximum width yielding 0.1% accuracy decreases rapidly for shorter wavelengths. The accuracy to which solar elevation angle must be known to yield 0.1% accuracy is also examined and found to be a noteworthy though noncritical effect.
© 1982 Optical Society of America
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