Abstract

The characterization of a charged-coupled device (CCD) spectrograph developed at the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Thessaloniki is presented. The absolute sensitivity of the instrument for direct irradiance and sky radiance measurements was determined, respectively, with an uncertainty of 4.4% and 6.6% in the UV-B, and 3% and 6% in the UV-A, visible and near-infrared (NIR) wavelength ranges. The overall uncertainty associated with the direct irradiance and the sky radiance measurements is, respectively, of the order of 5% and 7% in the UV-B, increasing to 10% for low signals [e.g., at solar zenith angles (SZAs) larger than 70°], and 4% and 6% in the UV-A, visible, and NIR. Direct solar spectral irradiance measurements from an independently calibrated spectroradiometer (Bentham DTM 300) were compared with the corresponding CCD measurements. Their agreement in the wavelength range of 310500nm is within 0.5%±1.1% (for SZA between 20° and 70°). Aerosol optical depth (AOD) derived by the two instruments using direct Sun spectra and by a collocated Cimel sunphotometer [Aerosol Robotic network (AERONET)] agree to within 0.02±0.02 in the range of 315870nm. Significant correlation coefficients with a maximum of 0.99 in the range of 340360nm and a minimum of 0.90 at 870nm were found between synchronous AOD measurements with the Bentham and the Cimel instruments.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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