Abstract

An airborne system for fast measurements of spectral actinic flux densities in the wavelength range 305–700 nm is introduced. The system is called the Actinic Flux Density Meter (AFDM). The AFDM utilizes the diode array technique and measures downwelling and upwelling spectral actinic flux densities separately with a time resolution of less than 1 s. For airborne measurements this means a spatial resolution of ~ 60 m, assuming an average aircraft velocity of 60 m/s. Thus the AFDM resolves fast changes in the actinic radiation field, which are of special importance for conditions of inhomogeneous clouds or surface reflection. Laboratory characterization measurements of the AFDM are presented, and a method to correct the nonideal angular response of the optical inlets is introduced. Furthermore, exemplar field data sampled simultaneously with spectral irradiance measurements are shown. The horizontal variability of the measured spectra of actinic flux density is quantified, and profile measurements for overcast situations are presented. Finally, the effects of clouds on the spectral actinic flux density are discussed.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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