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Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2012 Jun 13;370(1968):2590-610. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0221.

Absolute high spectral resolution measurements of surface solar radiation for detection of water vapour continuum absorption.

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National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0LW, UK.


Solar-pointing Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy offers the capability to measure both the fine scale and broadband spectral structure of atmospheric transmission simultaneously across wide spectral regions. It is therefore suited to the study of both water vapour monomer and continuum absorption behaviours. However, in order to properly address this issue, it is necessary to radiatively calibrate the FTIR instrument response. A solar-pointing high-resolution FTIR spectrometer was deployed as part of the 'Continuum Absorption by Visible and Infrared radiation and its Atmospheric Relevance' (CAVIAR) consortium project. This paper describes the radiative calibration process using an ultra-high-temperature blackbody and the consideration of the related influence factors. The result is a radiatively calibrated measurement of the solar irradiation at the ground across the IR region from 2000 to 10 000 cm(-1) with an uncertainty of between 3.3 and 5.9 per cent. This measurement is shown to be in good general agreement with a radiative-transfer model. The results from the CAVIAR field measurements are being used in ongoing studies of atmospheric absorbers, in particular the water vapour continuum.


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