Abstract

Solar illumination at ground level is subject to a good deal of change in spectral and colorimetric properties. With an aim of understanding the influence of atmospheric components and phases of daylight on colorimetric specifications of downward radiation, more than 5,600,000 spectral irradiance functions of daylight, sunlight, and skylight were simulated by the radiative transfer code, SBDART [Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 79, 2101 (1998)], under the atmospheric conditions of clear sky without aerosol particles, clear sky with aerosol particles, and overcast sky. The interquartile range of the correlated color temperatures (CCT) for daylight indicated values from 5712 to 7757 K among the three atmospheric conditions. A minimum CCT of 3600  K was found for daylight when aerosol particles are present in the atmosphere. Our analysis indicated that hemispheric daylight with CCT less than 3600 K may be observed in rare conditions in which the level of aerosol is high in the atmosphere. In an atmosphere with aerosol particles, we also found that the chromaticity of daylight may shift along the green–purple direction of the Planckian locus, with a magnitude depending on the spectral extinction by aerosol particles and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. The data analysis showed that an extremely high value of CCT, in an atmosphere without aerosol particles, for daylight and skylight at low sun, is mainly due to the effect of Chappuis absorption band of ozone at 600  nm. In this paper, we compare our data with well-known observations from previous research, including the ones used by the CIE to define natural daylight illuminants.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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