Abstract

We describe how sky luminance can be derived from a newly developed hemispherical sky imager (HSI) system. The system contains a commercial compact charge coupled device (CCD) camera equipped with a fish-eye lens. The projection of the camera system has been found to be nearly equidistant. The luminance from the high dynamic range images has been calculated and then validated with luminance data measured by a CCD array spectroradiometer. The deviation between both datasets is less than 10% for cloudless and completely overcast skies, and differs by no more than 20% for all sky conditions. The global illuminance derived from the HSI pictures deviates by less than 5% and 20% under cloudless and cloudy skies for solar zenith angles less than 80°, respectively. This system is therefore capable of measuring sky luminance with the high spatial and temporal resolution of more than a million pixels and every 20 s respectively.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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