Abstract

The Cimel new technologies allow both daytime and nighttime aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements. Although the daytime AOD calibration protocols are well established, accurate and simple nighttime calibration is still a challenging task. Standard lunar-Langley and intercomparison calibration methods both require specific conditions in terms of atmospheric stability and site condition. Additionally, the lunar irradiance model also has some known limits on its uncertainty. This paper presents a simple calibration method that transfers the direct-Sun calibration constant, V0,Sun, to the lunar irradiance calibration coefficient, CMoon. Our approach is a pure calculation method, independent of site limits, e.g., Moon phase. The method is also not affected by the lunar irradiance model limitations, which is the largest error source of traditional calibration methods. Besides, this new transfer calibration approach is easy to use in the field since CMoon can be obtained directly once V0,Sun is known. Error analysis suggests that the average uncertainty of CMoon over the 440–1640 nm bands obtained with the transfer method is 2.4%–2.8%, depending on the V0,Sun approach (Langley or intercomparison), which is comparable with that of lunar-Langley approach, theoretically. In this paper, the Sun–Moon transfer and the Langley methods are compared based on site measurements in Beijing, and the day–night measurement continuity and performance are analyzed.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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